Be Creative When Withdrawing from Retirement Accounts

Submitted by Edward JonesPrint Story | Email Story

Like many people, you may spend decades putting money into your IRA and your 401(k) or similar employer-sponsored retirement plan. But eventually you will want to take this money out – if you must start withdrawing some of it. How can you make the best use of these funds?

To begin with, here's some background: When you turn 70 1/2, you need to start withdrawals – called required minimum distributions, or RMDs – from your traditional IRA and your 401(k) or similar employer-sponsored retirement plan, such as a 457(b) or 403(b). (A Roth IRA is not subject to these rules; you can essentially keep your account intact for as long as you like.) You can take more than the RMD, but if you don't take at least the minimum (which is based on your account balance and your life expectancy), you will generally be taxed at 50% of the amount you should have taken – so don't forget these withdrawals.

Here, then, is the question: What should you do with the RMDs? If you need the entire amount to help support your lifestyle, there's no issue – you take the money and use it. But what if you don't need it all? Keeping in mind that the withdrawals are generally fully taxable at your personal income tax rate, are there some particularly smart ways in which you can use the money to help your family or, possibly, a charitable organization?

Here are a few suggestions:


* Help your grown children with their retirement accounts.
Your grown children may not always be able to afford to "max out" on their IRAs. You might want to help them with any excess funds from your own retirement accounts. You can give $15,000 per year, per recipient, without incurring any gift taxes – an amount far higher than the current annual IRA contribution limit of $6,000 (or $7,000 for individuals 50 or older).

* Help your grandchildren pay for college. You might want to contribute to an investment specifically designed to build assets for college. A financial professional can help you choose which investments might be most appropriate. Of course, if your grandchildren are already in college, you are free to simply write a check to the school to help cover tuition and other expenses.

* Help support a charitable organization. Due to recent changes in tax laws, many individuals now claim a standard deduction, rather than itemizing. As a result, there's less of an incentive, from a tax standpoint, for people to contribute to charitable organizations. But if you would still like to support a charitable group and gain potential tax benefits, you might want to consider moving some, or all, of your required distributions from your IRA to a charity. You can transfer up to $100,000 from your IRA in this type of qualified charitable distribution, thus meeting your RMD requirements without adding to your taxable income. Furthermore, this move might keep you in a lower tax bracket. (Before making this transfer, though, you will need to consult with your tax advisor.)

Your RMDs can contribute greatly to your retirement income, but, as we've seen, they can do even more than that – so use them wisely.

This article was written by Edward Jones for use by your local Edward Jones financial advisor. Courtesy of Rob Adams, 71 Main Street, North Adams, MA 01247, 413-664-9253.. Edward Jones, its employees and financial advisors cannot provide tax or legal advice. You should consult your attorney or qualified tax advisor regarding your situation. For more information, see EdwardJones.com.

 

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Demartinis Leads MCLA Men to Second Win

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. -- MCLA's Mike Demartinis tied a career high with 31 points as he led the Trailblazers to a come from behind 90-82 win over Medgar Evers Saturday afternoon in the consolation round of the Western New England Invitational.
 
MCLA (2-2) trailed for the entire first half and eventually pulled to 40-38 at halftime. MCLA trailed 50-44 early in the second half before they started to surge behind Demartinis. He scored 22 of his 31 points in the second half.
 
MCLA took its first lead of the afternoon on Antoine Montgomery's bucket to make it 56-55, but still with plenty of time remaining. A few minutes later, MCLA trailed 67-64, but Quran Davis scored on back to back possessions to give the Trailblazers the lead for keeps. That started a 13-4 run that increased the MCLA lead to 77-71 with six minutes left to play.
 
The lead grew to 11 points on Demartinis' layup at 85-74 and MCLA cruised home from there.
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