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72(t), multiple spouses, and Roth IRAs
Old 07-18-2008, 12:31 PM   #1
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72(t), multiple spouses, and Roth IRAs

Some questions about 72t when you have 4 different pools of tax deferred monies, plus 2 more Roth IRAs.

This is a 15 year plan (meaning the information collected now will be used for a possible FIRE date in 15-18 years). I have time to correct imbalances-maybe or take other actions which could make decision better if there is a problem brewing.

I have a 401k and a rollover IRA with tax deferred monies.
My wife has a 401k and a rollover IRA with tax deferred monies.

I have a Roth IRA and wife has a Roth IRA too.

Most of our retirement savings is in one of these 6 accounts.
The money in my name is about 8X what is in my wife's name. I have been saving more for longer.

Balances (estimates)
401k-me 50k
Rollover-me 60k
Roth-me 40k
401k-wife 20k
rollover-wife 4k
Roth-wife 3k

Both Roths for 2008 are maxed for first time, 401k contribution is 11% for me and 6% for wife.

Questions:

1) when 72t is applied, is it applied to one account, all tax deferred accounts or something else? Meaning my Rollover and Roth are with T Rowe Price, if I roll the 401k over to Fidelity or Vanguard, is the 72t calculation supposed to include balances from both custodians?

2) when 72t is applied, would it make sense to raid the smaller balances (wife's accounts) and leave the larger balances intact? The amount of money needed the first few years is minimal because I think one of us (me) will retire before the other spouse.

3) as opposed to using (relying on/ planning) for 72t, would it make more sense to stash away money in a taxable account and let all money grow tax deferred or tax free? Each account is invested with a very similar allocation (45% large cap, 15% mid cap, 15% small cap, 25% international or 15% foreign large cap and 10% foreign small cap or 15% foreign established markets and 10% emerging markets).

4) 18 years from now I am age 53 and wife is 52. 72t is designed to last 5 years (58 yo) or until age 59.5 (6 years) whichever is greater- so 72t is a 6 year withdraw, correct?

5) Part of the ER period will be used to convert monies to a Roth if possible- if that affects the 72t withdraw, can someone please comment how? For example if Rollover IRA is 300k and we need 50k taken each year for 72t, could I withdraw 50k, convert 10k to Roth, then next year withdraw 50k and convert 10k to Roth... might run out of money in year 5 or year 6 to satisfy 72t rules... what are the consequences of this? (obviously I could raid another account for the income, but the original 72t provision might not be met).
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Old 07-18-2008, 01:23 PM   #2
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1) when 72t is applied, is it applied to one account, all tax deferred accounts or something else? YOUR CHOICE Meaning my Rollover and Roth are with T Rowe Price, if I roll the 401k over to Fidelity or Vanguard, is the 72t calculation supposed to include balances from both custodians? 72T is a plan that needs to meet IRS Guidelines. Much simpler if 72T funds are all in one place in my opinion.

2) when 72t is applied, would it make sense to raid the smaller balances (wife's accounts) and leave the larger balances intact? The amount of money needed the first few years is minimal because I think one of us (me) will retire before the other spouse. Would after tax savings cover the need if short term? If not, set up a 72T against whatever amount and account you need to.

3) as opposed to using (relying on/ planning) for 72t, would it make more sense to stash away money in a taxable account and let all money grow tax deferred or tax free? Each account is invested with a very similar allocation (45% large cap, 15% mid cap, 15% small cap, 25% international or 15% foreign large cap and 10% foreign small cap or 15% foreign established markets and 10% emerging markets). After tax accounts are great once the match from employer in the 401K and IRA's are funded 1st in my opinion.

4) 18 years from now I am age 53 and wife is 52. 72t is designed to last 5 years (58 yo) or until age 59.5 (6 years) whichever is greater- so 72t is a 6 year withdraw, correct? Correct on you but 7&1/2 years on wife till 59&1/2.

5) Part of the ER period will be used to convert monies to a Roth if possible- if that affects the 72t withdraw, can someone please comment how? For example if Rollover IRA is 300k and we need 50k taken each year for 72t, could I withdraw 50k, convert 10k to Roth, then next year withdraw 50k and convert 10k to Roth... might run out of money in year 5 or year 6 to satisfy 72t rules... what are the consequences of this? (obviously I could raid another account for the income, but the original 72t provision might not be met). Once the 72T is started you can still make conversions on the accoount but AFAIK you need to designate a ROTH as part of the plan for the 72T.
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I suggest reading a lot at Welcome to 72t on the Net to get your arms around the 800# gorilla of 72T.
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Old 07-18-2008, 02:28 PM   #3
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Questions-

Quote:
4) 18 years from now I am age 53 and wife is 52. 72t is designed to last 5 years (58 yo) or until age 59.5 (6 years) whichever is greater- so 72t is a 6 year withdraw, correct? Correct on you but 7&1/2 years on wife till 59&1/2.
what do you mean 7.5? If I use wife's accounts for 72t, the withdraws take one more year because she is a year younger? Makes sense now that I think about it.

Quote:
5) Part of the ER period will be used to convert monies to a Roth if possible- if that affects the 72t withdraw, can someone please comment how? For example if Rollover IRA is 300k and we need 50k taken each year for 72t, could I withdraw 50k, convert 10k to Roth, then next year withdraw 50k and convert 10k to Roth... might run out of money in year 5 or year 6 to satisfy 72t rules... what are the consequences of this? (obviously I could raid another account for the income, but the original 72t provision might not be met). Once the 72T is started you can still make conversions on the accoount but AFAIK you need to designate a ROTH as part of the plan for the 72T.
Meaning if I withdraw 50k as part of 72t, then the Roth conversion is part of the 50k? Why would Roth conversions affect a 72t taxable withdraw?
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Old 07-18-2008, 04:10 PM   #4
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Meaning if I withdraw 50k as part of 72t, then the Roth conversion is part of the 50k? Why would Roth conversions affect a 72t taxable withdraw?

All I meant was that all accounts as part of a SEPP Plan must be defined before the dist starts. Then money can be converted into the ROTH anytime you have the money to pay the taxes. Be cautious not to overdo because you can run into the Roth aging issue (5 years old in the ROTH to avoid penalty) and that is a whole nother can of worms.

PM me if you need to.
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Old 07-19-2008, 04:27 AM   #5
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Planning is a very good thing. But I wouldn't get too caught up in the details of worrying about an event 18 years in the future. AFAIK the area involving 72(t) has been changed by Congress at least twice in this decade and the IRS and reinterpreted the rules God know how many times.
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