How Rules Differ On Inherited IRAs For Spouse And Non-Spouse

So what happens when you inherit retirement plans? It all depends on the type of account. It also depends on whether the beneficiary is a spouse. Those variables will determine the rules that govern how the inheritance is taxed and what options are available. These rules can be confusing and it’s highly recommended that you seek out professional advice to make sure that your understanding is valid before making any decisions that would have significant financial impact.

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Why Have A Dynasty Trust?

One of the major complications facing aging individuals is the passing down of wealth to the next generation without creating large tax implications.  The dynasty trust is a straightforward estate planning technique that can substantially reduce taxes.

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What Is Cryptocurrency?

There is plenty of misunderstanding about the definition of cryptocurrency. Wikipedia’s well-researched entry on the topic defines “cryptocurrency” as follows (with their links included):

[Cryptocurrency is] a digital asset designed to work as a medium of exchange that uses cryptography to secure its transactions, to control the creation of additional units, and to verify the transfer of assets. Cryptocurrencies are a type of digital currenciesalternative currencies and virtual currencies. Cryptocurrencies use decentralized control as opposed to centralized electronic money and central banking systems. The decentralized control of each cryptocurrency works through a blockchain, which is a public transaction database, functioning as a distributed ledgerBitcoin, created in 2009, was the first decentralized cryptocurrency. Since then, numerous other cryptocurrencies have been created.

Why create or use a cryptocurrency?

The answer is simple: freedom. (Freedom from centralized powers, to be exact.)

They’re used outside existing centralized banking and government structures, and this is why it’s attractive to users. They’re also mostly exchanged over the internet, which adds to the flexibility.

Coin Telegraph points out the intriguing characteristic of cryptocurrency:

While these alternative, decentralized modes of exchange are in the early stages of development, they have the unique potential to challenge existing systems of currency and payments. As of December 2017 total market capitalization of cryptocurrencies is bigger than 600 billion USD and record high daily volume is larger than 500 billion USD.As of January 2018, there were over 1384 and growing digital currencies in existence.

Many people buy cryptocurrency as they would an investment, with the hopes of profiting from its fluctuation in price. It’s also commonly used as a way to spend money as more and more businesses accept Bitcoin and others for payment.

Concerns About Cryptocurrencies and Legality Issues

Also noted by Coin Telegraph, but in a separate report, the world is still trying to wrap its head around the concept of Bitcoin and the security and legal implications of cryptocurrency. It’s also not surprising that governing agencies and central powers are worried and not particularly happy about a “rogue” financial community that they can’t control.

As Coin Telegraph observes: this also extends to exchanges and protection of people’s funds. US-based exchanges have to be regulated, but there are plenty of offshore platforms that don’t. (And some onshore platforms have blatantly broken the laws of the US.) The cryptocurrency history has been filled with instances of exchanges shutting down and running away with people’s funds.

The most famous of such cases is the closure of the notorious exchange Mt.Gox. At the beginning of 2014, formerly the most prominent Bitcoin exchange in existence filed for bankruptcy due to technological problems and the apparent theft or loss of 744,000 of its users Bitcoins. That number made up about six percent of 12.4 mln Bitcoins in circulation at the time.

Bitcoin’s ability to be used semi-anonymously is another cause for concern. Even though every single transaction is recorded in the Blockchain, it is very easy for users to stay almost completely anonymous, as those records only contain the public keys and the amount of funds transferred.

Most of these concerns were voiced after a dark web market Silk Road gained mainstream-media attention, as Bitcoins were the only form of payment accepted there. The market was since shut down by the FBI, but the authorities are still worried about Bitcoin’s appeal among the traders of illegal goods and services. Moreover, it is feared that Bitcoin’s semi-anonymity and decentralized nature can be exploited in money laundering and tax evasion schemes.

In 2013, Bitcoin was classified as a convertible decentralized virtual currency by the US Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN). They have also issued a guidance, in which they stated that those who obtain units of virtual currency and use it to purchase goods are not considered money transmitters and are operating within the law.

So basically it comes down to this: buying well-natured goods and services with Bitcoins is completely legal. The cryptocurrency is accepted as a form of payment on several major and minor online marketplaces and service providers, including OverstockShopify and OKCupid. Moreover, there are shops and restaurants all over the US where you can pay with Bitcoins.


According to the same guidance, investing in Bitcoin is also within the legal territory.  Many regulated US-based exchanges have to comply with the Anti-Money Laundering and Know Your Customer policies. Because of that, those who wish to trade and invest in Bitcoin have to verify their ID and connect an existing bank account.

Although, the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has warned potential investors that both fraudsters and promoters of high-risk investment schemes may target Bitcoin users.

Of course, readers might feel a bit overwhelmed trying to process the concept of cryptocurrency and all that it implies. We recommend that interested parties seek out guidance from your attorney and financial advisor prior to becoming financially engaged, or invested, in cryptocurrencies.

Should I Use My 401(k) Funds To Buy A Home?

Tired of writing those rent checks that seem to get you little, if anything, for your money? It’s understandable, then, that you would consider tapping into your 401(k) funds to come up with the down payment to pay for the purchase of your first home. These sentiments are no doubt exacerbated if the resources you need for that dream house are just sitting there in your 401(k) account.

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What Is A 529 College Savings Plan?

A 529 College Savings Plan is a plan operated by a state or educational institution, with tax advantages and potentially other incentives to make it easier to save for college and other post-secondary training for a designated beneficiary, such as a child or grandchild.

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Is A Roth IRA For Me?

A Roth IRA is a form of individual retirement plan that resembles, except for certain key elements, the traditional IRA individual retirement plan. The more notable differences between the traditional IRA and the Roth IRA lie in the rules that govern their contributions and withdrawals.

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Employee Matching Retirement Contribution Plans for The Self-Employed

Are you self-employed and still want an employee matching retirement contribution plan? Well, you can with a SIMPLE IRA.

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Is an LLC right for your Business?

A Limited Liability Corporation (LLC) is a hybrid between a sole proprietorship and a corporation. So, as the owner or partner in an LLC, you are considered self-employed as you would be as a sole proprietor. In an LLC, the business itself is not taxed but its owners are. And like a corporation though, an LLC is protected from having personal assets pursued that are the result of business actions. It’s not recognized as its own entity like a Corporation is an entity however.

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Understanding Annuities

An annuity can seem like it’s some word thrown around with retirement and savings on financial ads during football season. Here’s a little help to understand annuities.

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Contributing and Withdrawing from Roth IRAs

Investments in Roth IRAs are quite simple to understand despite what financial ads that run during major sporting events would lead you to believe.

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