RRA Educational Resources/Blog/Qualified Charitable Donations: A Retirement Risk Strategy

Qualified Charitable Donations: A Retirement Risk Strategy

As you approach retirement, one of the things you need to think about is how to manage your required minimum distributions (RMDs). RMDs are the amount of money that you must withdraw from your traditional IRA or 401(k) each year after you reach age 72.

If you have a large IRA or 401(k) balance, your RMDs could be significant. This could push you into a higher tax bracket and increase your tax liability.

One way to reduce your tax liability and support your favorite charities is to make qualified charitable distributions (QCDs). A QCD is a direct transfer from your IRA or 401(k) to a qualified charity. QCDs count towards your RMD for the year, but they are not taxable.

Here are some of the benefits of making QCDs:

- Reduce your tax liability: QCDs are not taxable, so they can help to reduce your overall tax liability.
- Support your favorite charities: QCDs are a convenient way to give to charity and support the causes that you care about.
- Meet your RMD: QCDs count towards your RMD for the year, so you can satisfy your RMD requirement without having to take a taxable distribution.

QCDs can be a good option for retirees who are charitable and who have a large IRA or 401(k) balance. However, there are a few things to keep in mind:

- There is a maximum contribution amount: The maximum amount that you can donate through a QCD each year is $100,000.
- QCDs must be made directly from your IRA or 401(k) to a qualified charity: You cannot deduct QCDs from a taxable distribution.
- You must be age 70½ or older to make QCDs:

If you are considering making QCDs, it is important to talk to your financial advisor to see if they are right for you. Your advisor can help you to determine how much you can donate and how to make your QCDs.

Here are some additional tips for making QCDs:

- Plan ahead: If you are planning to make QCDs, it is important to start planning early. This will give you time to research qualified charities and to determine how much you can donate.
- Make your QCDs early in the year: This will help you to avoid being pushed into a higher tax bracket.
- Keep records of your QCDs: You will need to keep records of your QCDs for tax purposes.
- Talk to your tax advisor: Your tax advisor can help you to determine how QCDs will affect your tax liability.

QCDs can be a valuable tool for retirees who are charitable and who have a large IRA or 401(k) balance. By planning ahead and making QCDs early in the year, you can reduce your tax liability and support the causes that you care about.

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