The fourth quarter is an opportune time to take inventory of retirement accounts and review actions such as required minimum distributions (RMDs) and planning strategies before year-end.

Chris Hennessey highlights the key retirement planning topics that require attention by year-end:

  • Annual RMDs must be taken from retirement accounts to avoid an IRS penalty.
  • If an investor does not need the income from an RMD, consider directing it to a charity tax free* or funding a 529 college saving plan for a grandchild.
  • Convert a traditional IRA to a Roth IRA for tax-efficient planning and explore the use of a loss carryforward to offset income from the Roth conversion.

*Note that the charitable rollover provision expired at the end of 2014 but is included in tax extenders legislation that Congress is likely to pass in December.