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The change is that the kids might only get 5 years in which to withdraw the money and pay the taxes, rather than be able to save the funds for their own retirement and pull out only the RMD, as was the plan when we took the account out. Again, rules changed, eliminating a perk in the account that we valued, one of the perks we took the IRA out for, and may not have if it had not been there. We can't change our accounts, but are likely to encourage the kids to invest differently.

I see where you and I differ. I assume the rules will change over the course of my lifetime, and so I do my planning with the rules as they are, and adjust as time moves on and the rules change. You planned with the rules as they were, and may have thought that even if the rules changed, there might be a grandfathering of sorts, and so the rules you planned under would remain intact.

I also don't see the problem with the kids having to pull the money out of the retirement accounts within 5 years, paying the taxes on the distribution, and leaving that money to be invested for their retirement in their own taxable accounts. In fact, I'd argue that this isn't all that bad since they could manage it so that they are selling when they want, and only pay the tax-advantaged capital gains tax vs. the ordinary income tax on everything. And they would have a lot more flexibility in how they use the money including for things like a house purchase, sending their kids to college, or their retirement. They wouldn't be locked into only using that money for their own retirement or paying a penalty plus the taxes for withdrawing early for some other expense.

I expect my kids to manage/use any money we leave them as they see fit, and do not particularly care if they only use it for one purpose, such as their own retirement. They may have other more pressing or more desirable uses for that money than to wait until they are retirement age, and I have no desire to manage their money from the grave. If they want to build a nice bonfire with it and waste it like that, then that is up to them, but they'll also have the consequences of their actions in that the money will no longer be available for some other more fruitful need.

Can't say everything I put on these pages is well thought out, but I know I can count on others here to point it out when it's not.

This does tend to be one of the boards that I like because there are substantial discussions, and I learn a lot. I do hope to see that continue.
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