How a Roth IRA rollover can cause unexpected problems

Pricey Liz: I have been contributing to my younger kids’s Roth IRA accounts for the previous few years to begin up retirement financial savings. My oldest daughter give up her first job to return to graduate college. Since her earnings can be low this yr, I suggested her to enter her outlined contribution plan together with her former employer right into a Roth IRA to consolidate her retirement financial savings. Will this conversion have an effect on the utmost quantity I can contribute to her Roth past the standard guidelines on most contributions?

Reply: Conversion can do greater than have an effect on her capability to contribute to Roth. It might probably additionally inflate her tax invoice, cut back her eligibility for monetary help and have an effect on any medical health insurance advantages she receives. Changing can nonetheless be a sensible transfer as a result of Roth IRAs are tax deductible Opting out is in retirement, however you must perceive all of the implications of that earlier than following your recommendation.

The quantity your daughter transfers from a 401(ok) outlined contribution plan or different outlined contribution plan can be thought of a taxable distribution and handled as earnings. This will likely have an effect on her eligibility for tax credit, resembling schooling tax credit and Reasonably priced Care Act advantages, in addition to her capability to contribute to a Roth. (In 2023, a person’s capability to contribute to a Roth plan fluctuates between adjusted adjusted gross earnings from $138,000 to $153,000.)

Additionally, to be eligible to make a contribution, it’s essential to have earned earnings no less than equal to the quantity you (otherwise you) plan to contribute. Retirement plan distributions will not be earned earnings, so you will want wages, salaries, suggestions, bonuses, commissions, or earnings from self-employment to qualify.

The switch might have an effect on her monetary help within the coming years. Federal help calculations are based mostly on tax returns from two years prior, so her 2023 tax return might have an effect on her help if she remains to be in class throughout the 2025-26 college yr.

Additionally, you might want to know the way you’ll pay the tax invoice on the switch. Changing an everyday retirement account right into a Roth account could make sense if somebody expects to be in a better tax bracket later, however the math begins to interrupt down if the identical retirement account have to be damaged into to pay the tax.

Your daughter ought to seek the advice of a tax skilled who can overview her state of affairs and supply private recommendation.

Unpaid previous insurance coverage insurance policies

Pricey Liz: What recommendation are you able to give folks after they get caught on previous life insurance coverage insurance policies which will have by no means been cashed out?

Reply: My brothers and I’ve private expertise with this after we got here throughout two insurance policies in our late father’s papers. We discovered that one coverage had already been cashed in, however the second—bought within the Nineteen Thirties, with a face worth of $5,000—was nonetheless legitimate.

You may often use a search engine to find out if the insurance coverage firm remains to be in enterprise or if it has modified its title or merged with one other firm. (Not surprisingly, the insurance coverage firm that issued the coverage within the Nineteen Thirties has been concerned in a number of mergers within the many years since, however it took mere seconds to seek out the present incarnation.) Should you’re having bother monitoring down the corporate, contact the insurance coverage regulator. Within the state the place the insurance coverage firm is initially positioned.

After getting your present insurer’s title and get in touch with info, you possibly can name and ask if the coverage remains to be in impact. If the coverage is of worth, the insurance coverage firm can information you on methods to file a declare.

Advantages of divorce and remarriage

Pricey Liz: I’m a divorced man receiving Social Safety survivor advantages based mostly on my ex-boyfriend’s earnings file who handed away. I’m 63 years previous. Can I get married and nonetheless obtain advantages?

Reply: sure. Individuals who obtain survivors’ advantages can remarry at age 60 or older with out shedding their advantages.

Survivors’ advantages rely upon the earnings file of the deceased partner. This differs from spousal advantages and absolute marital advantages, that are based mostly on a residing particular person’s earnings file. Individuals receiving divorced partner advantages can’t remarry with out shedding these advantages.

Liz Weston, licensed monetary planner, is a private finance columnist on the NerdWallet. Questions could be despatched to her at 3940 Laurel Canyon, #238, Studio Metropolis, CA 91604, or utilizing the “contact” type at

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