THE SAUGUS ADVOCATE – FriDAy, FEbrUAry 9, 2024 Page 15 OBITUARIES Leonard S. Goodwin O f Saugus. P a s s e d away on February 2nd, 2024, at 80 years. Loving son of the late Maxine and Sheldon Goodwin. Loving father of Robert Goodwin and his wife Kim of Saugus, Douglas Goodwin of Everett, and James Goodwin and his wife Jennifer of Methuen. Loving brother of Lorraine Carson and her husband Bruce of Temple City, CA. Cherished grandfather of Ashley, Gabrielle, Jamie, Sophia, Ava, and Douglas Goodwin Jr. He is also survived by several dear nieces and nephews. Leonard served in the National Guard and was a union floor coverer and member of the NE Regional Carpenters & Floor Coverers Local # 2168. Leonard was an avid car enthusiast who owned several classic cars over the years. He loved watching movies with his family and enjoyed listening to oldies Doo-Wop music. He was a man of faith and read his bible regularly. A visitation was held at the JF Ward Funeral Home, Everett, on Wednesday, Feb 7th. Interment in Pine Grove Cemetery, Lynn. In his memory, donations may be made to www.myasthenia.org Michael C. Light O f Saugus. Died on Saturday, February 3, at Massachusetts General Hospital at the age of 83. He was the beloved husband of Patricia (Grella) Copeland for 60 loving years. Born and raised in EverO f Saugus. Died on Monday, February 5th at Melrose-Wakefield Hospital at the age of 82. He ett, Dick was the son of the late Nelson and Anna (Merrill) Copeland. He had been a resident of Saugus for the past 60 years. Dick was an accomplished finish carpenter as a member of Local Union 218 for half a century. He enjoyed vacationing in Hampton Beach, NH in the summer, deer hunting in Vermont and enjoying the sun in Lauderdalewas the beloved husband of Priscilla (Copeland) Light with whom he shared 60 years of marriage. Born in Lynn and raised in Saugus, Mr. Light was the son of the late Charles and Eleanor (Latauskas) Light. A resident of Everett for the past 60 years, Michael was a retired Mechanical Engineer for Draper Labs where he worked for 47 years. Michael enjoyed hunting with his family, fishing with his friends and loved being around his grandchildren. In addition to his wife, Mr. Light is survived by his three children, Michael A. Light and his wife Marilena of Malden, Traci Mazzie and her husband John of Saugus, and Matthew A. Light and his wife Erica of Concord; six grandchildren, of Melissa and her fiancé Justin, Michael, James, Jacob, Stephanie and Shauna; and his sister, Eleanor Doole and her husband Frank of Kittery, ME. Relatives and friends are invited to attend an hour of visitation in the Bisbee-Porcella Funeral Home, 549 Lincoln Ave., Saugus on Saturday 10 from 9 – 10 a.m. followed by a service in the funeral home at 10 a.m. Interment in Puritan Lawn Memorial Park in Peabody. In lieu of flowers, donations in Michael’s memory may be made to the American Heart Association at heart.org. Richard “Dick” Copeland by-the-Sea, FL in the winter, and finding a casino anywhere in between. Dick was happiest when sharing with loved ones, whether he was cooking for his family and friends, distributing the bounty of his garden harvest among them, or slyly slipping cash into the hands of his unsuspecting little nieces and nephews. In addition to his wife, Dick is survived by his sister, Priscilla Light and her husband, Mike, of Everett and many loving nieces, nephews and Godchildren. He is predeceased by his brother, William Copeland, and sisters, Evelyn Millea and Barbara Marrocco. Relatives and friends were invited to attend visiting hours in the Bisbee-Porcella Funeral Home, 549 Lincoln Avenue, Saugus, on Thursday (2/8) from 4-7 p.m. A funeral Mass will be held at Blessed Sacrament Church, 14 Summer Street, Saugus on Friday (2/9) at 10:30 a.m. Interment will follow at Riverside Cemetery, Saugus. For condolences www.BisbeePorcella.com. In lieu of flowers, donations in Dick’s memory may be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital at stjude.org. ROTH IRA ACCOUNTS T he Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997 created the ROTH IRA effective January 1, 1998. Although ROTH IRA’S are not tax deductible, if certain requirements are met, the earnings can be withdrawn tax free. Furthermore, the so-called “minimum distribution rules” that apply to Traditional IRA’S do not apply to ROTH IRA’S. Traditional IRA’S require withdrawals no later than April 1 following the Calendar Year in which the owner reaches age 73. Earnings in a ROTH IRA can accumulate tax-free during the owner’s lifetime. An individual can contribute the lesser of his or her earned income for the year or $6,500 to either a ROTH IRA or a Traditional IRA. The Taxpayer, however, must meet certain adjusted gross income (AGI) limitations. In addition, the owner may still participate in an employer-sponsored retirement plan. If you are age 50 or older, you can contribute an additional $1,000 to a Roth IRA or Traditional IRA. For single Taxpayers, eligibility phases out with AGI between $138,000 and $153,000 and for married, filing joint Taxpayers, eligibility phases out with AGI between $218,000 and $228,000. For a married, filing joint Taxpayer, if the couple’s AGI is less than $218,000, and the working spouse has at least $6,500 in earned income, then each spouse can contribute $6,500 to a ROTH IRA. This is so even if the non-working spouse has no earned income. The non-working spouse in effect “borrows” the earned income of the other spouse. If you are an active participant in a qualified retirement plan, and a single taxpayer, your contribution to a Roth IRA is phased out with AGI between $73,000 and $83,000. If you are married filing a joint tax return, the contribution is phased out with AGI between $116,000 and $136,000. For a spouse who is not an active participant in a qualified retirement plan, the Roth IRA contribution is phased out with AGI between $218,000 and $228,000. Why contribute to a ROTH IRA? The benefits of “tax-free” earnings are simply too good to ignore. You may, however, still decide to contribute to a Traditional IRA if you (i) expect to retire relatively soon; (ii) you expect that your tax bracket will significantly drop during retirement; (iii) you will need the funds soon; (iv) and you plan on investing the savings in tax dollars generated from the Traditional IRA contribution itself. If you were to be laid off, switch jobs or retire, tremendous flexibility is gained when viewing basic ROTH IRA planning. When you terminate your employment, your 401(k) balance, for example, can be rolled over first into a Traditional IRA “rollover” account. This would constitute a tax-free “roll-over.” From there, you could convert the Traditional IRA to a ROTH IRA. This would constitute a taxable conversion. You have the flexibility of determining in which calendar years to perform the conversion, based upon whether or not you had been working in a particular calendar year, whether or not your other income is unusually low in a particular year, or whether or not you had sufficient mortgage interest or real estate tax deductions to help offset the “conversion” income. One problem with Traditional IRA’S is that the “deferred income” is ultimately taxed to the beneficiaries. Under the Secure Act, non-spousal beneficiaries have 10 years to withdraw the account balance as opposed to over his or her life expectancy. This is a game changer. With ROTH IRA’S, the income when received is received “tax free.” Furthermore, tax-free growth can continue after your death unlike with a Traditional IRA. Spousal beneficiaries can establish their own Spousal Roth IRA account and continue with tax deferral. There would be no required minimum distributions during the surviving spouse’s lifetime, unlike with a Traditional IRA account. Children old enough to earn income should be encouraged to earn at least $6,500 per year in order to contribute to a ROTH IRA. This will result in a tremendous benefit based upon many years of contributions. The investment accumulates income tax free. One often overlooked benefit of a ROTH IRA is found in the Medicaid Planning area. An individual who foresees the possibility of being admitted into a nursing home, expecting to apply for MassHealth benefits, could withdraw the account balance and place into an irrevocable trust in order to commence the five-year look back period. None of the withdrawal would be taxable so there is a much greater incentive to take action to protect the assets in the Roth IRA. This is not the case with a Traditional IRA account. The entire withdrawal would be taxable. Once the required fiveyear look back period is satisfied, that individual may be eligible for MassHealth benefits as a result of having transferred the countable ROTH IRA assets from his or her name.. ROTH IRA’S offer significant planning opportunities. If you are eligible to make a contribution, it is almost always a good idea to do so. A ROTH IRA contribution must been made by April 17, 2024 for Calendar Year 2023. Joseph D. Cataldo is an estate planning/elder law attorney, Certified Public Accountant, Certified Financial Planner, AICPA Personal Financial Specialist and holds a masters degree in taxation.

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