Weekly Newsletter

“Third-party Posts”

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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Weekly Market Commentary

Weekly Market Commentary - 1/26/2024 -Darren Leavitt, CFA US equities inked another set of weekly gains on the back of mixed 4th quarter earnings results and encouraging economic data.  The S&P 500 and Dow set new all-time highs. Dutch Semiconductor Company ASML...

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Five Things I Wish I’d Known Before I Retired

Not only can these insights save you a boatload of stress later in life, but they can help ensure that you have a happy retirement. Planning for retirement is tricky. There can be a lot of uncertainty involved. You try to make good decisions with the information you...

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Weekly Market Commentary

Weekly Market Commentary - 1/19/2024 -Darren Leavitt, CFA The S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average hit record highs on Friday despite a reset of monetary policy rate cut expectations.  Mega-cap technology issues outperformed with a jump start from the...

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Weekly Market Commentary

Weekly Market Commentary - 1/12/2024 -Darren Leavitt, CFA US Markets gained ground in the second week of 2024, attributed to mega-cap issues in the Information Technology and Communication Services sectors.  The Equal-weight S&P 500 was up 0.2%, while the Mega-Cap...

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Weekly Market Commentary

Weekly Market Commentary - 1/5/2024 -Darren Leavitt, CFA After nine weeks of gains, the market fell in the first week of trading in 2024.  Interestingly, the losses incurred this week largely came from areas of the market that outperformed last year, namely growth 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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NEW ROTH PROVISIONS EFFECTIVE IN 2024

By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst Follow Us on X: @theslottreport When the bell dropped in Times Square last Sunday night, a bunch of new provisions from the SECURE 2.0 legislation kicked in. This article will focus on the Roth-related changes that are effective in 2024....

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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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Weekly Market Commentary

Weekly Market Commentary - 12/22/2023 -Darren Leavitt, CFA US equity markets inked an 8th consecutive week of gains as investors continued to foster the soft landing narrative.  Trading volumes lightened as the week progressed and corporate news was relatively quiet. ...

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TWO HOLIDAY LISTS

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst Follow Us on X: @theslottreport The SECURE 2.0 Act contained over 90 sections and included numerous IRA and retirement account changes. Additionally, the legislation incorporated staggered effective dates over multiple years. Here...

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SECURE 2.0 RELAXS RETROACTIVE SOLO 401(K) RULES

By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst Follow Us on X: @theslottreport Thinking of opening up a new solo 401(k) plan for 2023? Thanks to SECURE 2.0, you don’t have to rush to get it done by year end. A solo 401(k) is an excellent retirement savings vehicle for self-employed...

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Weekly Market Commentary

Weekly Market Commentary - 12/15/2023 -Darren Leavitt, CFA The Bull market continued its rally streak to seven consecutive weeks, something not seen since 2017.  Wall Street threw a “pivot party” as the US Federal Reserve’s Open Market Committee meeting ended with a...

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Want to retire early? Make these 5 moves in 2024

As 2023 comes to a close, many Americans are turning their attention to 2024 and contemplating resolutions for the new year. Many focus on financial resolutions. as people seek to earn more or create breathing room in their budget. For some, making a commitment...

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BAD SANTA & THE GRINCH OFFER HORRIBLE IRA ADVICE – PART 2

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst Follow Us on X: @theslottreport The investment advisory firm of Bad Santa & the Grinch continues to disseminate misinformation and lousy, no good, rotten-to-the-core IRA advice. As we saw in “Bad Santa & The Grinch Offer...

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Weekly Market Commentary

Weekly Market Commentary - 12/8/2023 -Darren Leavitt, CFA The S&P 500 gained ground for the sixth consecutive week as US economic data continued to support the soft landing narrative.  Mega-cap issues provided leadership, while small-caps continued to perform...

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CONGRESS MAKES SIMPLE IRA PLANS LESS SIMPLE

By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst Follow Us on X: @theslottreport SIMPLE IRA plans are a popular retirement savings option for small businesses. The plans are available for companies with 100 or fewer employees who received at least $5,000 in pay from the company in the...

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DEADLINE TO TAKE YOUR 2023 RMD IS ALMOST HERE

By Sarah Brenner, JD Director of Retirement Education Follow Us on X: @theslottreport It is December. The halls are decked, and Starbucks holiday cups are everywhere. The end of the year is not far away. That means the deadline is near for taking a required minimum...

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Weekly Market Commentary

Weekly Market Commentary - 12/1/2023 -Darren Leavitt, CFA A mélange of factors pushed US equity markets to a sneeze away from record highs.  US Treasuries continued to rally, sending yields lower across the curve.  The soft landing narrative continued as investors...

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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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BAD SANTA & THE GRINCH OFFER HORRIBLE IRA ADVICE – PART 1

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst Follow Us on X: @theslottreport If the Grinch and Bad Santa both passed their FINRA Series 7 exam and decided to open an investment advisory firm, I’m pretty sure they would combine forces to intentionally deliver some of the WORST...

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7 Keys to Pretirement Planning With Your Partner

Take these steps together to help you both get the retirement you want Retirement can last for decades, so the choices you make in the years leading up to it will have huge implications for your financial security, lifestyle and legacy during your golden years. They...

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Weekly Market Commentary

Weekly Market Commentary - 11/24/2023 -Darren Leavitt, CFA US equity markets inked a 4th straight week of gains despite the market appearing to be overbought.  The holiday-shortened week featured light trading volumes and broad participation.  Earnings results from AI...

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4 IRA TAX BREAKS FOR WHICH WE GIVE THANKS IN 2023

By Sarah Brenner, JD Director of Retirement Education Follow Us on X: @theslottreport Thanksgiving is almost here! This is a time for us to gather together and express our gratitude for all the good things in our lives. When it comes to our retirement accounts, we...

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STILL-TIME-LEFT TO-DO LIST

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst Follow Us on X: @theslottreport Year-end to-do lists are commonplace. The problem is, they always seem to get published in mid-to-late December. I can almost hear the collective “thanks for nothing” comment from readers as the...

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Weekly Market Commentary

Weekly Market Commentary - 11/17/2023 -Darren Leavitt, CFA The S&P 500 closed above 4500 after inking its third consecutive weekly gain.  Temperate economic data released over the last few months has elevated the idea of an economic soft landing and the idea that...

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Annuities Rising in Popularity

Get trusted annuities advice, news and features. Find annuities tips and insights to further your knowledge on kiplinger.com. Rising interest rates are making annuities more attractive to investors, so much so that annuity sales are smashing records set in 2008 during...

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RMDS WHEN YOUR IRA INVESTMENTS ARE NOT LIQUID

By Sarah Brenner, JD Director of Retirement Education Follow Us on X: @theslottreport You may have noticed grocery stores stocking up for Thanksgiving, and festive lights and displays going up everywhere. Yes, it is the holiday season, but it is also the season to...

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Weekly Market Commentary

Weekly Market Commentary - 11/10/2023 -Darren Leavitt, CFA Markets were mixed this week as investors digested additional earnings announcements, a plethora of Fed rhetoric, and a large dose of US Treasury issuance.  The divergence of mega-cap stocks widened relative...

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THE FIVE-YEAR RULE AND RMDS: TODAY’S SLOTT REPORT MAIBAG

By Sarah Brenner, JD Director of Retirement Education Follow Us on X: @theslottreport Question: In 2020 and 2021, when I was over 65 years old, I converted some of my IRA into a Roth IRA.  Does the five-year rule still apply to me, or can I now draw out all of the...

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5 Ways To Kick Retirement Overspending

A budget is the best way to avoid running out of money in retirement Too many online shopping sprees. Frequent dinners at your favorite steak house. Pricey vacation getaways. And, of course, high inflation. Houston, we have a problem: Many retirees are spending way...

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ONE BENEFICIARY, THREE IRAS, THREE DIFFERENT PAYOUT RULES

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst Follow Us on X: @theslottreport An advisor called and said his 75-year-old client had just passed away. He had questions about the payout rules applicable to the three IRAs the client left behind: a traditional IRA, a Roth IRA, and...

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SECURE 2.0’S BIGGEST MESS

By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst Follow Us on X: @theslottreport   Of the 92 provisions in the SECURE 2.0 legislation, signed into law last December, by far the most challenging is section 327.  Section 327 changes the distribution rules for spouse beneficiaries of...

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Weekly Market Commentary

-Darren Leavitt, CFA Global financial markets rallied big time last week on dovish tones from central bankers and on the notion that this interest rate hike cycle may be over.  The Bank of Japan kicked the week off with a vague move that sets their 10-year Japanese...

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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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IRA CONTRIBUTION LIMIT RAISED TO $7,000 FOR 2024

By Sarah Brenner, JD Director of Retirement Education Follow Us on X: @theslottreport   The IRS has released cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs) for 2024. Many IRA limits will increase next year. Higher IRA Contributions The limit on annual contributions to an IRA...

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ROTH IRA DISTRIBUTION ORDERING RULES – KEEP IT SIMPLE

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst Follow Us on X: @theslottreport Within the 400-page Ed Slott advisor training manual, we include a basic chart that outlines the Roth IRA distribution ordering rules and the availability of those specific dollars. When presenting...

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Weekly Market Commentary

-Darren Leavitt, CFA Equity markets faced another wave of selling as the S&P 500 went into correction territory, down 10.13% from the end of July.  Investors saw some relief from the bond market, but trade in Sovereign debt continued to lack a safe-haven bid...

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COMMON CONFUSIONS WITH THE ONCE-PER-YEAR ROLLOVER RULE

By Sarah Brenner, JD Director of Retirement Education Follow Us on X: @theslottreport The once-per-year IRA rollover rule sounds pretty easy to understand. You may only do one IRA-to-IRA (or Roth IRA-to-Roth IRA rollover) per year (365 days). However, this rule is...

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Weekly Market Commentary

Weekly Market Commentary - 10/20/2023 -Darren Leavitt, CFA This week, the debt market resumed its sell-off and wreaked havoc on the equity markets.  The US 10-year bond yield hit 5% for the first time since 2007, while longer-tenured issues felt the brunt of the...

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Don’t Make This Big Retirement Mistake

A recent survey of Americans who have yet to retire found that just 10% have made plans to receive the biggest possible Social Security payout. And it’s not because people don’t know that Social Security pays bigger benefits the longer you wait to claim. More than 90%...

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IRA MID-TERM EXAM

By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst Follow Us on X: @theslottreport The Investment Company Institute (ICI) is an association representing mutual fund companies and similar investment companies. Each year, ICI conducts a survey of the prevalence of IRAs in American...

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Weekly Market Commentary

Weekly Market Commentary - 10/13/2023 -Darren Leavitt, CFA US equity markets finished the week with mixed results as investors digested the first tranche of third-quarter earnings results. JP Morgan, Citi Bank, Wells Fargo, and United Healthcare had...

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What Is a Fixed Index Annuity?

The S&P 500 represents about 80% of the total market capitalization of large-cap U.S. stocks (market price per common share multiplied by the number of common shares outstanding). As it is so widespread, many market analysts use it as an indicator of the overall...

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HOW TO LOSE AN INHERITED IRA AND GAIN A BIG TAX BILL

By Sarah Brenner, JD Director of Retirement Education Follow Us on X: @theslottreport   Did you inherit an IRA from someone who is NOT your spouse? This is not uncommon. Maybe you inherited from a sibling or a parent or a friend. If this is your situation,...

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“WHERE DOES IT SAY THAT?” – THE PROBLEM WITH LEGALESE

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst Follow Us on X: @theslottreport My biggest gripe with legislation is the same complaint held by most – the bulk of it is written in legalese – i.e., difficult-to-understand language. I am no idiot, but sometimes I sure feel dumb...

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Weekly Market Commentary

Weekly Market Commentary - 10/6/2023 -Darren Leavitt, CFA Investors were treated to another mixed bag of market action as the yield curve steepened on the notion of higher rates for longer.  There were several central bank officials that echoed the need to perhaps...

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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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SECURE 2.0 ALLOWS QCDS TO CGAS

By Sarah Brenner, JD Director of Retirement Education Follow Us on X: @theslottreport SECURE 2.0 expands qualified charitable distributions (QCDs) by allowing a one-time only QCD of up to $50,000 to a split-interest entity. As a result of this new rule, there is now a...

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Weekly Market Commentary

Weekly Market Commentary - 9/29/2023 -Darren Leavitt, CFA Markets finished a difficult month of September with mixed results.  The prospect of a government shutdown, along with no real progress in the UAW negotiations and a recalibration of interest rate expectations,...

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10 Retirement Planning Mistakes People Make at 50

Take inventory of your assets and your strategy, or you could regret it later Reaching age 50 is a milestone that most of us celebrate. Still, after you’ve blown out the candles and bid farewell to your guests, you may have a headache from too much champagne, but...

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TOP 10 IRA “POPULAR CONFUSIONS”

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst Follow Us on X: @theslottreport The Ed Slott team answers thousands of IRA and work plan questions annually - emails, phone calls, in-person conversations, webinars, Q&A programs and texts. We accommodate all members of the Ed...

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Weekly Market Commentary

Weekly Market Commentary - 9/22/2023 -Darren Leavitt, CFA US equity markets sold off in tandem with the US Treasury market as the Federal Reserve’s Open Market Committee meeting concluded with no change to its policy rate.  The Fed’s Summary of Economic Projections...

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8 Common Above-the-Line Deductions Anyone Can Claim

Take these write-offs on your 1040, even if you don’t itemize your return Doing your taxes is a hunt for ways to minimize your income: The lower your income, the less tax you pay. For most retirees and pre-retirees, this means taking the standard deduction and moving...

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BEWARE OF INVESTING IRAS IN NFTS

By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst Follow Us on X: @theslottreport If you are thinking of buying an NFT (non-fungible token) with your IRA funds, you may want to reconsider. In Notice 2023-27, the IRS said that NFTs associated with “collectibles” are prohibited IRA...

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OCTOBER 16: DEADLINE FOR CORRECTING 2022 IRA CONTRIBUTIONS

By Sarah Brenner, JD Director of Retirement Education Follow Us on X: @theslottreport Maybe you made a Roth IRA contribution for 2022 and then discovered your income was too high. Maybe you contributed to a traditional IRA but later discovered that the contribution...

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Weekly Market Commentary

Weekly Market Commentary - 9/15/2023 -Darren Leavitt, CFA It was a roller coaster ride on Wall Street this week, with early-week gains met with a late-week sell-off.  Investors cheered the largest IPO of the year that saw Arm Holdings come to market 10x oversubscribed...

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12 Things to Tell Your Kids About Your Money

You don’t have to tell them some things, but others are very important You’ve probably taught your kids a whole bunch about money over the years, like how to stretch an allowance through an entire week and how to balance a debit account — or, most challenging of all,...

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“MID-AIR” ROTH CONVERSIONS

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst Follow Us on X: @theslottreport If ever I was traveling from Los Angeles to Atlanta, I would choose a direct flight with no layovers. I want the most efficient route to my destination. Point A to Point B. Take off, land. Assuming...

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MORE ON THE ROTH CATCH-UP CONTRIBUTIONS DELAY

By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst Follow Us on X: @theslottreport The August 28, 2023 Slott Report summarized IRS Notice 2023-62, where the IRS delayed the effective date of the SECURE 2.0 rule requiring catch-up contributions by higher-paid older employees to be made on...

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Weekly Market Commentary

-Darren Leavitt, CFA The holiday-shortened week ended with losses for both US equities and Treasuries.  Apple shares tumbled on the news that the Chinese government would ban the use of the iPhone at government agencies at all levels of government.  The news comes in...

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Your Wealth Must Reside Somewhere!

Your wealth must reside somewhere! It must have a permanent place of residence. You must own, control, and have use your money, or you haven’t built any wealth, you just stashed some money away. About 90 % of Americans keep their wealth in either taxable, unavailable, and/or volatile residences that limit what you can do with their money. If what you thought was true about your money, wasn’t true about your money, when would you want to know? I first heard this question from Don Blanton, a fine southern gentleman with a distinct southern Georgia drawl, and I’ve been unable to “unhear” it, since.