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Convert Traditional IRAs into Roth Accounts

Because you must pay tax on the conversion as if the traditional IRA had been distributed to you, converting makes the most sense when you expect to be in the same or higher tax bracket during your retirement years. If that turns out to be true, the current tax hit from a conversion this year could be a relatively small price to pay for completely avoiding potentially higher future tax rates on the account’s post-conversion earnings. In effect, a Roth IRA can insure part or all of your retirement savings against future tax rate increases.

Planning Tip: If the conversion triggers a lot of income, it could push you into a higher tax bracket than expected. One way to avoid that is to convert smaller portions of the traditional IRA over several years. Of course, this delays getting funds into the Roth IRA where they can be potentially earning tax-free income. There is no one answer here. But keep in mind that you do not have to convert a traditional IRA into a Roth all at once. We can help you project future taxable income and the effect of converting various amounts of your traditional IRA into a Roth IRA.

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