With the introduction of the Roth IRA under the Taxpayers Relief Act of 1997. There is much hype about the possibility of creating a retirement plan from which you’ll be able to withdraw funds free of federal income taxes. Yet for many people, particularly those approaching the age of 70, rolling your traditional IRA into a Roth IRA may not be an attractive option. For these folks, understanding the rules applying to your traditional retirement account (IRA) is critically important. Failure to understand IRS’ IRA rules and properly integrating your individual retirement account planning with your overall estate planning can spell disastrous results. The reason: unpaid federal and state income taxes and the possibility of estate taxes resulting from your IRA account.
It is not unusual for individuals approaching retirement to have accumulated $200,000 or $300,000 in their IRA. I have seen IRA accounts approaching $1 million. With the current estate tax exemption at $625,000 and income taxes due on withdrawals from your IRA, careful planning is necessary to minimize the potential tax bite.