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Articles on Wealth Management Topics

The ABC's of QCD's: Qualified Charitable Distributions Explained

After having played political ping-pong with them for almost a decade, Congress finally made qualified charitable distributions (QCD's) a permanent feature of the tax code late in 2015. And that's a good thing: (a) for those who consider their IRA required minimum distributions to be an unneeded and tax-inefficient nuisance, (b) for charitably-minded retirees, and (c) for charities in general.

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Supercharge Your Retirement Savings with Mega Backdoor Roth IRA Contributions

Roth 401(k) contributions are especially advantageous to younger workers still looking forward to their peak earning years. And for higher-paid employees, Roth 401(k)'s may be the only way for them to contribute to Roth-style accounts. Now here's a way - courtesy of some fairly recent clarification from the IRS - to potentially supercharge the pace of your contributions to Roth-style accounts at the workplace, regardless of whether or not your employer offers a Roth 401(k) feature.

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"Stealth" IRA Contributions

As we begin to prepare for tax season, IRA contributions are on the minds of many taxpayers. This should be no surprise since not only do tax-deductible IRA contributions reduce current tax bills, but non-tax-deductible IRA contributions have the potential to reduce future tax bills as well. With these tax benefits in mind, here are three ways to effectively increase your household's IRA contributions that often fly under the radar:

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"Ten Ways You're Probably Leaving Money on the Table" Updated for 2018-9

The Tax Policy Center estimates that recent changes to the tax code in the form of last year's Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) "... will cut individual income taxes for 65 percent of households overall, but raise taxes for about 6 percent of households." Even so, why not resolve to improve your financial situation even more in the New Year. Depending on your circumstances, there may be a variety of moves to make to reduce your tax bills (or to offset them by saving money in other ways).

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Use a 457 (Retirement Plan Account) to Blow Away Your Tax Bill

457(b) plans are retirement plans for government workers and for highly-compensated employees of non-profit organizations. As such, 457's are offered by some of Utah's largest employers, including Intermountain Healthcare and the University of Utah. These plans are analogous to 401(k)'s and 403(b)'s, but they differ in one critical way.

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Tax-Free Exchanges of Annuities for Long-term Care Coverage

Luckily, even the worst annuities don't have to be "roach motels" - there is often a way out of them without having to sacrifice an arm and a leg. The best escape route depends on a variety of factors, i.e. the annuity's surrender charge schedule, whether or not it's held in a tax-qualified account, the fine print of the annuity contract, the client's financial situation, etc. A provision of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) offers another possible way out.

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Should You Convert Your IRA or 401k to a Roth IRA?

There was a lot of hoopla when the rules were changed a few years ago to allow any taxpayer, regardless of income level, to convert IRA's and retirement plans to Roth accounts. So much so that you would think Roth conversions were "no-brainer" decisions. But in reality, a Roth conversion probably only makes sense for a small minority of investors. Here are some of the major factors to consider in deciding whether to convert your IRA or retirement plan account to a Roth IRA.

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