Planning for Life

How to Protect an Inherited IRA

Posted by Harry S. Margolis on January 27, 2015

By Harry S. Margolis

If you leave a 401(k) plan or individual retirement account (IRA) to your spouse, he will be able to roll it in with her own IRA and it will be subject to the same rules regarding minimum required distributions (MRDs) as apply to his own retirement plans. He'll have to begin taking them in the year after he turns 70 1/2. In addition, he will receive the same creditor protection that his other retirement accounts receive, which is that they are protected from creditors in bankruptcy proceedings.

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Topics: asset protection, Retirement Planning

5 Steps to Avoid Outliving Your Money

Posted by Harry S. Margolis on January 13, 2015

By Harry S. Margolis

The first issue of a new UBS publication, Your Wealth & Life, focuses on "Navigating longevity," or how to make sure your savings and investments last as long as you do. This is especially important as our odds of living long -- and long after retirement -- increase. Half of today's 65-year-olds will live to 85 or older; women have almost a one in three chance of living to age 90; and for a couple there's a 50% chance that one of the spouses will live to age 90 or beyond.

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Topics: social security, Retirement Planning

The Effect of the Market on Retirement Solvency

Posted by Harry S. Margolis on December 9, 2014

By Harry S. Margolis

While the ups and downs of the market can have a favorable or deleterious effect on savings and investments while we're saving for retirement, they have a much larger effect on solvency during retirement. This was illustrated by financial planners Amy Lampert and Richard Belofsky of The Bulfinch Group speaking at our firm's monthly First Monday Lunch for Professionals.

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Topics: Retirement Planning

Beware Rolling Over Too Many IRAs

Posted by Harry S. Margolis on August 11, 2014

In the recent case of Bobrow v. Commissioner, the U.S. Tax Court overturned a longstanding IRA rule permitting taxpayers to "roll over" multiple IRAs in a single year. The IRS had interpreted a limitation on one roll over a year to apply separately to each IRA a taxpayer may own. So the taxpayer could roll over IRA A in February, IRA B in May and IRA C in October.

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Topics: Retirement Planning

Is an Inherited IRA Protected from Creditors? No!

Posted by Harry S. Margolis on July 15, 2014

In general under the 2005 Bankruptcy Code, IRAs and other retirement accounts, such as 401(k)s and SEP plans, are protected in the event of bankruptcy by the owner -- one more reason to fund your retirement plan with as much as possible. But what about an inherited IRA? The U.S. Supreme Court recently decided in Clark v. Rameker that they do not enjoy any  bankruptcy protection.

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Topics: asset protection, Retirement Planning, Probate Estate Administration

Beware Beneficiary Designations - Massachusetts Estate Planning

Posted by Harry S. Margolis on March 25, 2014

By Harry S. Margolis

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Topics: trusts, Estate Planning, Retirement Planning

9 (Potential) Problems with Your Trust - Massachusetts

Posted by Harry S. Margolis on December 3, 2013

By Harry S. Margolis

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Topics: trusts, asset protection, Estate Planning, Retirement Planning

How Much Do You Need to Retire? — Massachusetts

Posted by Harry S. Margolis on October 15, 2013

By Harry S. Margolis

How much money you need "in the bank" when you retire depends on many factors, including the following:

  • Living standards. How much money will you need each month to live the way you want to live? Does that include travel? A second home? Gifts or support to children and grandchildren? Create a budget as a starting point, and then assume that it will increase at least 3 percent per year to account for likely inflation.

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Topics: MassHealth planning, long-term care insurance, Estate Planning, Retirement Planning

"Special" or "Supplemental" Needs Trusts? - Massachusetts

Posted by Harry S. Margolis on September 10, 2013

By Harry S. Margolis

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Topics: special needs planning, Retirement Planning

Support the Special Needs Trust Fairness Act

Posted by Harry S. Margolis on August 19, 2013

By Harry S. Margolis

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Topics: special needs planning, Retirement Planning

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