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Articles on Wealth Management Topics

The SECURE Act Changes the Landscape for Tax-Efficient Retirement Planning

Since March, COVID stories have dominated the headlines, and unprecedented financial market volatility has grabbed the attention of investors. As a result, it's been easy to forget that one of the most far-reaching pieces of legislation to affect the financial planning landscape in more than a decade was passed just before the pandemic struck. The SECURE Act, or Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement Act, contains provisions that impact saving for retirement, estate planning, retirement distribution strategies, tax planning, debt management, and retirement plan administration.

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The CARES Act and Tax-Efficient Charitable Giving in 2020

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act contains one-time provisions that apply to the taking of required minimum distributions (RMD's) in 2020. The CARES Act also makes temporary modifications to some of the tax rules surrounding this year's charitable giving. With just a couple of months left to take advantage of them, let's explore these changes and their implications.

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The CARES Act and Required Minimum Distributions

As mentioned in the most recent issue of "Seasonal Musings" - the quarterly e-newsletter distributed by Five Seasons Financial Planning - the passing of the SECURE Act late last year permanently changed the financial planning landscape, and in particular, many of the rules on required distributions from IRA's and retirement plan accounts. The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, passed just a few months later, contains a number of measures related to the taking of RMD's in this calendar year alone.

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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 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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