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IRA Info

Self-Directed IRA Basics

An IRA is an Individual Retirement Arrangement, commonly referred to as an Individual Retirement Account. An IRA allows an individual to save and invest money today for future use. The IRS, which defines all regulations and benefits associated with these accounts, allows tax advantages for your IRA; as long as it follows the rules set forth for each account type.

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Account Types

There are several different account types which can be self-directed, and you may open as many retirement accounts as you see fit. Familiarize yourself with the different self-directed accounts.

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IRA Contribution

A contribution is the money that an IRA account holder (and/or their employer in the case of an employer-sponsored plan) puts into their IRA. All IRA contributions must be made in cash. Each plan type has an annual contribution limit and a date by which the contribution must be made. Each plan also has certain requirements that must be met in order to contribute.

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IRA Distribution

The term distribution is used to denote the withdrawal of cash and/or assets from an IRA. An IRA distribution can be taken at any time, though a penalty (over and above tax consequence) may apply if this is executed before the account holder reaches age 59.5.

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Transfers & Rollovers

The movement of IRA funds directly from one IRA provider to another without the IRA owner taking receipt of the funds. This transaction is sometimes referred to as a custodian-to-custodian transfer. IRA holders can perform as many of these transfers as they would like.

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Roth Conversion

Traditional IRA funds can be converted to Roth status. There is no limit to the amount that can be converted; however, the amount converted is added to your ordinary income for that tax year. The Traditional to Roth Conversion deadline is Dec. 31.

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