The Secure Act was attached to the continuing resolution to keep the government funded and therefore will be signed into law and take effect 1/1/2020
For me this changes my Roth conversion schedule. Originally I was converting about $250K/yr. This year I converted $214K to keep my Medicare costs under better control. Medicare is an ongoing nightmare of arcane rules. My $250K MFJ conversions doubled my Medicare cost. For 2020 my Medicare cost will drop to 1.28 x the basic cost or $185/mo. Next year with the Secure act in effect I should be able to drop that back to a basic rate of $144/mo since my conversions are going to be less. I will also save on taxes. My regularly scheduled conversion bill was about $41K/yr on my AGI but will drop to about $17K/yr. This allo ws me to convert the same total amount in smaller aliquots over a longer period of time which improves the cash flow in any given year. The savings over 5 years pays for 1 free year of retirement and my net projected Roth account will be 1.5M over the 5 year to age 72 conversion vs just under 1M in the account using the larger 2 year to age 70 conversion.
Secure hoses up wealth transfer. All those articles you’ve recently read about creating “generational wealth” are now crap. You won’t be funding your grand-kids but the national debt. It is what it is, so take advantage where of the code as it will exist in 2020 instead of kvetching. You never step in the same river twice and we are stepping into a new river.
I funded my conversions for the next 4 years by selling stocks high this year and not waiting for the necessity to sell in a down market. Locking in 90 – 100% of the gains gives me a 100% war chest to use while converting as opposed to playing the odds of making an extra 5% by not selling, in the face of a possible 50% loss. Life is about the analysis of probabilities and then ordering the probabilities from most likely to least likely. Since they are probabilities there is no guarantee, but given my druthers I’d rather own the most likely scenario rather than the long shot.
The Secure Act will likely force wealth transfer to funnel through insurance products. Elsewise you could start funding your progeny over the course of your life. Instead of RMD take out RMD + 10% and slip the kiddo the 10%. You could slip the 10%/yr into BRK.B in a taxable account and it would have no tax consequence for owning it, but step up in basis when you croak. Better than paying some damn insurance company.