Three Stretch IRA Alternatives
The passage of the SECURE Act in 2019 effectively eliminated the stretch IRA, an estate planning strategy that allowed an inherited IRA to continue growing tax deferred, potentially for decades.
This week, Craig Siminski, of CMS Retirement Income Planning, shares with us an article exploring three alternatives to help preserve wealth and pass it to beneficiaries:
Most nonspouse beneficiaries, including children and grandchildren, can no longer stretch distributions over their lifetimes. Moreover, proposed IRS regulations require most designated beneficiaries to take annual required minimum distributions (RMDs) within the 10-year distribution period if the original account owner died on or after his or her required beginning date.
This shorter distribution period could result in unanticipated and potentially large tax bills for nonspouse beneficiaries who inherit high-value IRAs.
You may be looking for alternative ways to preserve your wealth and pass it on to your beneficiaries. Here are three options you might consider —
If you are willing to pay income taxes now instead of your beneficiaries paying them later, you could convert your IRA to a Roth IRA. Anyone can convert a traditional IRA to a Roth IRA. However, you generally have to include the amount you convert in your gross income for the year of conversion.
In addition to having to pay taxes on the amount converted, the beneficiaries of your Roth IRA will generally have to liquidate the account within 10 years of inheriting it, but they won’t pay federal income taxes on the distribution(s).
You could take distributions from your IRA and use them to buy life insurance on your life. The beneficiaries you name in the life insurance policy will receive those proceeds tax-free at your death. The policy beneficiaries could use the tax-free proceeds of the life insurance to pay any income taxes they would owe on the balance of the IRA they inherit from you.
Or, if you’ve been able to liquidate or spend down your IRA during your lifetime, the tax-free life insurance death benefit would replace some or all of the taxable IRA that otherwise would have been inherited by the beneficiaries.
You could create an irrevocable trust and fund it with non-IRA assets. An irrevocable trust can’t be changed or dissolved once it has been created. You generally can’t remove assets, change beneficiaries, or rewrite any of the terms of the trust. Often, life insurance is used to fund the irrevocable trust.
You can direct how and when the trust beneficiaries are to receive the life insurance proceeds from the trust after your death. In addition, if you have given up control of the property, all of the property in the trust, plus any future appreciation on the property, is…
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Craig Siminski is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional, with more than 25 years of experience. His goal is to provide families, business owners, and their employees with assistance in building their financial freedom.
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