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Author: Fuskie Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Ticker Guide SC1 Red Winner of the 2010 Rule Breakers Challenge Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 264939  
Subject: Re: I'm a new investor and new subscriber to Foo Date: 12/10/2012 9:42 PM
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Here is the Foolish Take on rolling a 401k into a SEP IRA:

http://wiki.fool.com/Can_I_Combine_SEP_IRA_%26_401(k)%3F

Basically, you can roll a 401k into a SEP IRA, since they are both tax-deferred accounts, but you may want to keep them separate anyway, in a Traditional IRA for the rollover and a SEP IRA for the business. Then when you move into a state with a cheaper income tax, you can roll the Traditional IRA into the Roth IRA and then be able to take the distributions tax free at a later date.

With a Roth IRA, contributions are post-tax so you can withdraw them (but not the gains) tax free even before you turn 59 1/2. This is the best of both worlds if you want access to your cash but want future tax benefits. For an IRA conversion into a Roth IRA, your converted funds have to remain in the Roth IRA for 5 years before they can be withdrawn (unless you hit 59 1/2 first), so if you want the tax advantage down the road but the flexibility to access your cash sooner, converting to a Roth IRA now will start the clock now.

The catch-up contribution for a 401k is $5500, but for a Roth IRA, it's $6000, so if you want to maximize your retirement savings, that's another argument for the Roth IRA. I think there's a minimum number of years before a business must show a profit to continue to not be seen as a hobby, but certainly costs of operation as well as business contributions to retirement savings can help you reduce your business income and save on taxes.

Given your age and nearness to retirement, I would encourage you to find a balance between conservatively secure investments such savings bonds, and a more aggressive equity approach. You don't want to put at risk any money you will need in the next 10-20 years, because if we have another market downturn, you could see precious savings disappear just when you need it most. Even mutual funds and ETFs tied to an equity index hold a degree of risk tied to market motion.

Yes, your approach to credit cards does sound strategy. I would encourage you to work with DW to change her behavior and take some responsibility for her spending. If it's business related, that's one thing, but if it's personal, that's something else completely. The interest you are paying is cutting into your retirement savings potential and the money available to invest in the business. That's a high price to pay for DW not modifying how she uses her credit cards.

Fuskie
Who also encourages DW to not use a business checking account or credit card unless absolutely necessary, as banking laws do not protect businesses the way they do individual consumers...
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