Monthly Market Review & Outlook

7 Key Factors That Could Affect How Long You’re Retired

Planning for retirement is hard for many reasons, including the challenge of answering one key question: Just how long will I be retired? Knowing how much time you’ll have to enjoy your golden years is paramount to budgeting; after all, you can’t determine how much...

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7 Key Factors That Could Affect How Long You’re Retired

Planning for retirement is hard for many reasons, including the challenge of answering one key question: Just how long will I be retired? Knowing how much time you’ll have to enjoy your golden years is paramount to budgeting; after all, you can’t determine how much...

read more

Weekly Market Commentary

-Darren Leavitt, CFA The holiday-shortened week saw the S&P 500 hit its 34th record high this year. The NASDAQ 100 also eclipsed the 20k mark for the first time.  Traders welcomed weaker-than-expected economic data that fostered the likelihood that the Federal...

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Weekly Market Commentary

-Darren Leavitt, CFA Financial markets finished the 2nd quarter with a lack of conviction.  Mega-caps led the market over the quarter with a 9.65% gain, while the equally weighted S&P 500 index declined by -2.42%, and the market weight S&P index gained 4.13%....

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BEER PONG & IRA CUSTODIAL RULES

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst You know the game “beer pong?” Arrange 6 or 10 cups in a triangle, fill each one with a couple of ounces whatever beverage you are enjoying, and your opponent tries to toss a ping-pong ball into one of the cups. If a throw is...

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FIVE THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT ROTH 401(K)S

By Ian Berger, JDIRA Analyst A recent survey found that over 80% of 401(k) plans now offer employees the option of making Roth 401(k) employee contributions. More and more employees are now taking advantage of that opportunity. (In this article, I use the term “Roth...

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Weekly Market Commentary

-Darren Leavitt, CFA The holiday-shortened week saw the S&P 500 eclipse 5500 and hit its 31st all-time high of the year.  Volumes were relatively light until Friday, when $5.5 trillion in derivatives expired and rolled in the next contract month.  Several...

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3 Ways Retirement Planning is Changing in 2024

The calendar page has turned and 2024 is well on its way. Before we get too far down the road, be sure to check out these changes around retirement savings. Every so often the federal government approves changes to the contribution limits for tax-advantaged retirement...

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DON’T OVERLOOK YOUR BENEFICIARY FORM

By Sarah Brenner, JDDirector of Retirement Education You have been contributing to your IRA for years. The market is up, and you are watching those investments grow. Maybe you have rolled over funds to your IRA from your company plan. You may now have a significant...

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PARTICIPATION IN MULTIPLE WORK PLANS – IT CAN BE DONE!

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst   It is perfectly acceptable for a person to participate in multiple work plans in the same year (even at the same time). For example, a 401(k) and a SEP. Or maybe a 401(k) and another 401(k). However, care must be taken to...

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Weekly Market Commentary

-Darren Leavitt, CFA US Markets finished the second week of June with mixed results.  It was an extremely busy week for investors as key Central Bank policy decisions were announced outside of a full economic calendar centered on two key inflation data sets.  There...

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A WISH LIST FOR THE IRS BENEFICIARY RMD FINAL REGULATIONS

After more than two years, we might actually soon be getting answers from the IRS on several important unanswered questions concerning required minimum distributions (RMDs) for those who inherit IRAs or company plan accounts. The 2019 SECURE Act completely changed the...

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‘What Does Retirement Even Look Like?’

For older parents of adult children with disabilities, focus stays on caring for kids Jeanne Piorkowski looks forward to having more time in retirement to navigate the dense bureaucracy of forms, benefits and programs she can already rattle off like an expert. But she...

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THE SLOTT REPORT TAKES ON AI

We are surrounded with information – and misinformation. Finding accurate up-to-date facts is increasingly difficult. Do an internet search and you will likely run into obsolete websites that have not been updated in years, paywalls demanding you subscribe before...

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Weekly Market Commentary

-Darren Leavitt, CFA The S&P 500 inked its twenty-fifth all-time high for the year, with outperformance coming from the mega-cap technology names.  The Vanguard Mega-Cap Growth ETF was up 3.3% for the week. NVidia and AMD started the week with new product...

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2024’s Big Savings and Retirement Rule Changes

At the end of 2022, the SECURE Act 2.0, short for Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement, became law. It expands earlier legislation, changing many aspects of the savings and retirement landscape for Americans. The rule changes make various accounts...

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ROTH 401(K) TO A ROTH IRA ROLLOVER: HOW DOES THIS WORK?

As retirement account questions go, this is the shortest inquiry with the longest answer. When asked what factors to consider and what 5-year clocks apply with a Roth 401(k) to Roth IRA rollover, I take a big breath and say, “Pull up a chair.” There are a number of...

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Weekly Market Commentary

-Darren Leavitt, CFA The holiday-shortened week on Wall Street was volatile. The last of first-quarter earnings continued to influence the markets. Earning results from the retailers were mixed as BestBuy, Footlocker, Nordstrom’s, and Costco's shares increased on...

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6 Things I Wish Someone Had Told Me Before I Retired

A recent retiree shares lessons learned late about saving money and spending time Everyone nearing retirement has a vision of what their road will be like once they clock out of the 9-to-5. Maybe that prophecy includes regular travel, longer trips to see the...

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FIVE RMD FACTS EVERY IRA OWNER SHOULD KNOW

If you have an IRA and you are approaching retirement age, you have probably heard the term “required minimum distribution” (RMD). But do you know the details of how the rules work and what they mean for you? Here are five facts about RMDs that every IRA owner should...

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Weekly Market Commentary

Weekly Market Commentary - 5/24/2024 -Darren Leavitt, CFA Financial markets ended the week with mixed results. All eyes this week were on AI darling NVidia, which posted better-than-expected Q1 results and provided guidance above the consensus estimates. The company...

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5 Things You Need to Know Before Retiring at 62

A new study shows more Americans mulling early exit from workforce. Here’s what to look at before you leap The COVID-19 pandemic brought about a surge in early retirements that came to be called the Great Resignation. New research from the Federal Reserve Bank of New...

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SIMPLE PLAN CONTRIBUTION LIMITS: INCREASED FOR MANY

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst Follow Us on X: @theslottreport   We have written about this subject in the past (December 2023), but as is our philosophy here, learning is all about repetition, repetition, repetition. Surprisingly (he says with tongue...

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7 Spring Cleaning Moves for Your Finances

Here’s how to get your financial house in order Forget cleaning out the closet, scrubbing the floors and washing the windows. The start of spring is an even better time to get your finances in order. “One thing on many people’s minds is cleaning. But what if you put...

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WHEN A REVERSE ROLLOVER MAKES SENSE

By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst Follow Us on X: @theslottreport In a famous “Seinfeld” episode, George Costanza, unemployed, living with his parents and without a girlfriend, decides to do the opposite of what he would normally do. It pays off for him big time as he...

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Weekly Market Commentary

Weekly Market Commentary - 5/17/2024 -Darren Leavitt, CFA The major US equity indices inked a fourth consecutive week of gains as US Treasury yields fell on an in-line CPI print that showed a deceleration of inflation for the first time in three months. Still, Fed...

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WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT COMMUNITY PROPERTY AND YOUR IRA

By Sarah Brenner, JD Director of Retirement Education Follow Us on X: @theslottreport What do you get when community property mixes with your IRA? Well, you will discover that the results can be confusing. Here are some facts every IRA owner should know. Community...

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ED SLOTT’S ELITE ADVISOR GROUP℠ MEETS IN INDIANA

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst Follow Us on X: @theslottreport   Ed Slott’s Elite IRA Advisor Group℠ gathered in Indianapolis last week for another successful conference. Over 350 member advisors from across the country spent two intense days of training,...

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Weekly Market Commentary

Weekly Market Commentary - 5/10/2024 -Darren Leavitt, CFA The S&P 500 notched a third consecutive week of gains as the index broke and held above its 50-day moving average.  Investors were treated to another dose of first-quarter corporate earnings. Disney, Uber,...

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7 Spring Cleaning Moves for Your Finances

Here's how to get your financial house in order Forget cleaning out the closet, scrubbing the floors and washing the windows. The start of spring is an even better time to get your finances in order. “One thing on many people’s minds is cleaning. But what if you put...

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A CHEAT SHEET FOR IRA BENEFICIARY RMDS

By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst Follow Us on X: @theslottreport   It’s been over four years since the SECURE Act upended the rules for beneficiary IRA required minimum distributions (RMDs), and there’s still plenty of confusion about the new rules. The IRS did give...

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YOUR RMD IS NOT ELIGIBLE FOR ROLLOVER

By Sarah Brenner, JD Director of Retirement Education Follow Us on X: @theslottreport   If you are at retirement age, you might be at a high risk for excess contributions due to rollover mistakes. This is because of the rule that says that the required minimum...

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Weekly Market Commentary

-Darren Leavitt, CFA It was an extremely busy week on Wall Street.  First-quarter earnings results were highlighted by Apple and Amazon.  Investors encouraged by their results sent higher shares on the back of increased dividends, increased share buyback programs, and...

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What’s Changing for Retirement in 2024?

Inflation adjustments and the phase-in of Secure 2.0 provisions have implications for retirement savers and retirees alike. The dawning of 2024 will usher in more changes than usual on the retirement-planning front. As is typical with the turn of the calendar page,...

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ONE 60-DAY ROLLOVER PER YEAR?

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst Follow Us on X: @theslottreport   SCENARIO: In one calendar year, Jessie completes the following transactions: 1. Takes a partial distribution from her 401(k) and does a 60-day rollover to an IRA. 2. Does a 60-day rollover...

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401(K) RMDS IN THE YEAR OF RETIREMENT

By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst Follow Us on X: @theslottreport   Here’s a question we get asked often: Say you retire in the year you turn age 73 (or in a later year) and you want to roll over your 401(k) funds to an IRA. Do you have to take a required minimum...

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Weekly Market Commentary

Weekly Market Commentary - 4/26/2024 -Darren Leavitt, CFA US equity markets bounced back last week, with nearly 40% of the S&P 500 companies reporting first-quarter results. The rally was propelled by Microsoft and Google, whose better-than-expected earnings not...

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How to Deal With a Big Tax Bill

Don’t panic — but do pay the tax tab Bills are a fact of life, though some require more urgent attention than others. Ignore your brother-in-law because you still owe him $50 from last year’s poker game, and you’ll get the cold shoulder. Ignore your debt to Uncle Sam,...

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3 QUESTIONS TO ASK TO DETERMINE IF AN HSA IS RIGHT FOR YOU

By Sarah Brenner, JD Director of Retirement Education Follow Us on X: @theslottreport The cost of healthcare continues to climb. Are you frustrated with higher premiums and out-of-pocket costs? You are not alone. You may be looking for new strategies to handle these...

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FUNDAMENTALS OF THE LIFETIME RMD

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst Follow Us on X: @theslottreport   We answer some pretty complex IRA and retirement plan questions. Our newsletters and other Slott Report entries can get into the weeds on some tricky topics. The thing is, when you spend all...

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Weekly Market Commentary

Weekly Market Commentary - 4/19/2024 -Darren Leavitt, CFA Financial markets took another step back last week as investors grappled with increased tensions in the Middle East and the recognition that interest rates are likely going to be higher for longer. Iran fired...

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7 Ways Retirement Will Be Different in 2024

How changes in Social Security, Medicare, taxes and more will affect your finances For most people, retirement finance is a delicate balance between income that’s likely less than what you made while working and expenses that may be lower in some areas (no more...

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TWO RMD STRATEGIES TO AVOID IRMAA

By Sarah Brenner, JD Director of Retirement Education Follow Us on X: @theslottreport You have carefully saved for retirement and now you have accumulated a substantial amount of funds in your IRA.  At some point the funds that you have been putting away for years...

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Weekly Market Commentary

Weekly Market Commentary - 4/12/2024 -Darren Leavitt, CFA Financial markets pulled back for the second consecutive week as investors continued to recalibrate monetary policy expectations and assess the most recent conditions in geopolitics. A stronger-than-anticipated...

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THE WISE SHOPPER – ROTH CONVERSIONS

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst Follow Us on X: @theslottreport   Imagine walking through a grocery store, intent on purchasing a specific item. As you turn down an aisle, little colorful tags proclaiming “Special Deal” and “Buy 1, Get 1” protrude from each...

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JUST A FEW DAYS LEFT TO FIX 2023 EXCESS 401(K) DEFERRALS

By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst Follow Us on X: @theslottreport If you exceeded the 2023 limit for 401(k) deferrals, time is of the essence to correct the error. If you don’t act quickly, the tax consequences can be serious. The maximum amount of pre-tax and Roth...

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Weekly Market Commentary

-Darren Leavitt, CFA Wall Street took a step back in the first week of the second quarter as robust economic data induced a recalibration of rate cut expectations. The recalibration was further influenced by Minneapolis Fed Governor Neel Kashkari's suggestion that the...

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10 Things Boomers Should Consider Selling in Retirement

Retirement is not just about what you should buy or invest in — it’s equally about decluttering and letting go of assets that may no longer serve a purpose or even cost you money. For baby boomers, the following are items worth considering selling in retirement to...

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4 WAYS TO REDUCE YOUR RMD TAX BITE

By Sarah Brenner, JD Director of Retirement Education Follow Us on X: @theslottreport Markets continue to climb. That is good news for your retirement account. However, there is a downside. When you contribute to a traditional IRA or a pre-tax 401(k), you make a deal...

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10 POINTS: FIXING EXCESS IRA CONTRIBUTIONS

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst Follow Us on X: @theslottreport ‘Tis the season for identifying and correcting excess IRA contributions. It seems as if every other recent inquiry is about this subject. To keep readers on the straight and narrow, here are ten...

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Weekly Market Commentary

Weekly Market Commentary - 3/28/2024 -Darren Leavitt, CFA The S&P 500 hit another all-time high this week as investors appeared to rebalance positions into quarter end.  The week started with some weakness on the announcement that the EU was investigating Meta,...

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ARE 529-TO-ROTH IRA ROLLOVERS SUBJECT TO STATE TAX?

By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst Follow Us on X: @theslottreport Previous Slott Report articles have covered the new SECURE 2.0 provision allowing 529 funds to be rolled over to Roth IRAs. We’ve reported that there are several unanswered questions concerning this new...

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Weekly Market Commentary

-Darren Leavitt, CFA US equity markets forged another set of new highs in an extremely busy week on Wall Street.  Global Central Banks took center stage, headlined by the Bank of Japan, the US Federal Reserve, and the Bank of England.  The BOJ, as expected, moved away...

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3 Ways Retirement Planning is Changing in 2024

The calendar page has turned and 2024 is well on its way. Before we get too far down the road, be sure to check out these changes around retirement savings. Every so often the federal government approves changes to the contribution limits for tax-advantaged retirement...

read more

WHAT IS RETIREMENT? FANTASY VS. REALITY

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst Follow Us on X: @theslottreport   Three times a week, every week, we add to the Slott Report. Two article entries and a mailbag. All factual, measurable information. “This is what to consider when you name a trust as your...

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HOW SECURE 2.0 IMPACTS COMPANY PLAN IN-SERVICE WITHDRAWALS

By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst Follow Us on X: @theslottreport Retirement plan funds are designed for retirement, but Congress continues to make it easier for employees to pull out those funds while still working. The SECURE 2.0 law adds several new in-service...

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Weekly Market Commentary

Weekly Market Commentary - 3/15/2024 -Darren Leavitt, CFA Markets pulled back this week as investors assessed hotter-than-anticipated inflation data. US Treasuries sold off across the curve as the higher-for-longer narrative strengthened ahead of the coming Federal...

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Weekly Market Commentary

-Darren Leavitt, CFA Markets pushed back on an early week sell-off to close at record highs for the S&P 500 and NASDAQ.  A building sense that the market is due for a pullback was met with inline consensus inflation data, continued outperformance in the...

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A WAY TO JUMP-START 529-TO-ROTH ROLLOVERS

By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst Follow Us on X: @theslottreport We have covered in The Slott Report the new SECURE 2.0 provision that allows unused 529 plan funds to be rolled over to Roth IRAs. It originally appeared that this new rule was to be effective for 2024....

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Weekly Market Commentary

-Darren Leavitt, CFA The S&P 500 and the Dow Industrial Average forged new all-time highs despite investors taking profits early in the holiday-shortened week.  Semiconductor stalwart NVidia’s fourth-quarter earnings results induced a massive rally in the stock...

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10 Things No One Tells You About Early Retirement

The reality of quitting work can be far different from the fantasy. Here's what you need to know Even if you love your job, there are times when you'd rather be alphabetizing the spice shelf than riding a packed train alongside hundreds of sniffling fellow commuters....

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Weekly Market Commentary

Weekly Market Commentary - 2/16/2024 -Darren Leavitt, CFA Wall Street took a breather last week as hotter-than-expected inflation data forced investors to recalibrate their expectations for rate cuts from the Federal Reserve.  Mega-cap issues that have been...

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LAST WEEK IN LA JOLLA

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst Follow Us on X: @theslottreport Last week in La Jolla, California, the Ed Slott team hosted another incredibly successful 2-day advisor training program. Nearly 200 financial professionals from across the country chose to join us...

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Can Remote Work Get You a Head Start on Retirement?

If you have a dream destination in mind, careful planning and a willing boss could help you make the move ahead of schedule Rob Nehrbas was winding up his career as an executive at an Arizona-based laser device company he’d sold to a bigger competitor when he realized...

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Weekly Market Commentary

Weekly Market Commentary - 2/9/2024 -Darren Leavitt, CFA The S&P 500 hit another record high and topped the 5000 level for the first time as investors focused on better-than-expected Q4 earnings.  The economic calendar was light this week but showed continued...

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10 Things You Need to Know Before Filing Your Tax Return

Get that 2023 refund fast and keep it safe from fraudsters Financial advisers usually tell you that it’s bad to get a big tax refund. A refund, after all, is money you paid the government that you didn’t owe. You could have used that money during the tax year instead...

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GHOST VS. 5-YEAR: THE CALENDAR DICTATES

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst Follow Us on X: @theslottreport Ever since the SECURE Act created a 10-year payout rule for most IRA beneficiaries, that topic has garnered the bulk of conversation. This is understandable. Not only was the 10-year rule a brand-new...

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Weekly Market Commentary

By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst Follow Us on X: @theslottreport We’re getting lots of questions about the SECURE 2.0 change that allows annuitized IRA annuities to be aggregated with non-annuity IRA funds for required minimum distribution (RMD) purposes. This change...

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Weekly Market Commentary

-Darren Leavitt, CFA It was a turbulent week on Wall Street as investors assessed the Federal Reserve’s decision on monetary policy while economic data and corporate earnings offered mixed results.   Tensions in the Middle East escalated as the US hit Iranian proxy...

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5 Reasons To Buy an Annuity

A few reasons to consider buying an annuity include the tax advantages, income for life and customization options for added benefits. The Annuity.org editorial team interviewed annuity buyers and financial experts to understand the best reasons to purchase one and how...

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ROTH IRA FOR A TEENAGER – AN ASTRONOMICAL RESULT?

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst Follow Us on X: @theslottreport   The mailman delivered my son’s 2023 W-2 the other day. I was curious what he earned last year as a lifeguard at our community pool, so I opened the envelope. Box 1, “Wages, tips, other...

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