An Update On The Secure Act & Realistic New Year's Resolutions - Carroll Financial
February 13, 2020

An Update On The Secure Act & Realistic New Year’s Resolutions

Author: Marty Moore, CFP®


Just when you think nothing gets done in Washington…

The mostly positive Setting Every Community Up for Retirement (SECURE) Act was signed into law on December 20th, 2019.  The SECURE Act made significant changes to retirement plans and individual retirement accounts.  Here are a few of the notable changes that may affect you and your beneficiaries.


The good…

The Act raised the age for IRA Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs) from 70 ½ to 72.  If you’re already receiving RMD’s the new rule doesn’t apply – you continue on under the old rules.  Even if you turned 70 ½ last year but have not yet taken your first distribution (you opted for the first year delay) you still fall under the old rule and must begin taking distributions.  If you turn 70 ½ this year you’re in luck.  You won’t have to start until the year you turn 72.


Also good…

The old rule that prevented you from making contributions to an IRA after age 70 ½ has been removed.  Now, as long as you have earned income, you can continue making contributions.  No more age restrictions.  One important note, though.  You may not want to make a contribution, even if eligible, if you have been or intend to make charitable contributions from your IRA.  Let us know and we can walk through the pros and cons of doing this.


The not so good…

The SECURE Act eliminated the ‘Stretch IRA’.  Under previous law, non-spouse beneficiaries (typically your children) were able to spread distributions form an inherited IRA over their life expectancies.  The new law now requires non-spouse bene’s to withdraw all funds within 10 years.  Distributions can begin immediately if desired/needed or delayed.  But 100% of the account must be distributed within 10 years.

The SECURE Act is extensive and there may be other provisions that you may have heard about and have questions about.  Just give us a call.


It’s that time of the year again

For making financial market predictions for the upcoming year.  I might listen to some, but not many.  And I don’t listen because I expect those making the predictions to be right.  I listen because I find it interesting and I might learn something.  Making predictions, especially short-term predictions, is hard.

Here’s Jamie Dimon, the well-known and well-respected CEO of JP Morgan Chase.

In a CNBC interview on August 6, 2018:

Jamie Dimon cautions the 10-year Treasury yield could hit 5%: “It’s a higher probability than most people think.”

Just a little over one year later in another CNBC interview on September 10, 2019:

Jamie Dimon says JP Morgan is preparing for the risk of zero interest rates in the U.S.


Predicting is hard.  Why? 

“A lot of the reason it’s hard is because the visible stuff that happens in the world is a small fraction of the hidden stuff that goes on inside people’s heads.  The former is easy to overanalyze; the latter is easy to ignore.”     – Morgan Housel

Over the long term the health and vibrancy of our economy and the success (profitability) of the companies we invest in is what matters most.  But what goes on inside people’s (investors) heads has a lot to do with what happens in the market day-to-day.


It’s also that time of year again

For making New Year’s resolutions.  Go on a diet, start eating healthy foods, begin an exercise program are among the more popular.

According to Dr. Yoni Freedhoff, associate professor of family medicine at the University of Ottawa, here’s how to be healthy … in just 48 words.

Don’t smoke. (2)

Get vaccinated. (4)

Avoid trans fats. (7)

Replace saturated fats with unsaturated if you can. (15)

Cook from whole ingredients – and minimize restaurant meals. (23)

Minimize ultra-processed foods. (26)

Cultivate relationships. (28)

Nurture sleep. (30)

Drink alcohol at most moderately. (35)

Exercise as often as you can enjoy. (42)

Drink only the calories you love. (48)

Not easy, for sure.  But also not complicated.  And in these 48 words you’ll find nothing that can be labeled a ‘fad’.


Something to think about…













As always, thanks for reading.


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