Flipping Your Ira Into A Roth

by Barry Waxler - Date: 2007-04-28 - Word Count: 515 Share This!

For tax purposes, many people are considering converting their IRA to a Roth. Alas, there are a number of factors you need to take into account before doing this.

The Roth IRA is often so attractive that holders of Traditional IRAs seek to convert their account into a Roth. This is something that needs to be given some careful evaluation. The first thing, of course, is to make sure you are qualified. There are certain rules regarding conversions that must be considered first. There is a 60-day limit on conversions and other regulations that might make the conversion impossible.

If you are qualified to make a conversion, the next problem is to determine if you are qualified for a Roth IRA. If you are doing an IRA conversion to Roth IRA, you must meet the gross income qualification. This eligibility requirement is currently $99,000 for a single tax payer and $156,000 for married filing jointly. If your income is over this you cannot convert to a Roth IRA. It is not possible for married people to get around this limit by filing separately. The rules specifically prohibit married people who file separately from converting a Traditional IRA to a Roth IRA.

You will have to pay taxes when you make the conversion. The reason for this is that you have not paid them when you deposited funds into the Traditional IRA and you are not going to have to pay them when you withdraw the funds from the Roth IRA. You are going to have to pay them sometime. There is no escape from that. The time they are paid is at the time of the conversion. This is an important consideration. Some people plan to pay the taxes with a portion of the distribution and then convert the remainder into the Roth IRA. This plan will involve not only the taxes, but also an early withdrawal penalty of 10%.

If you have excessive funds available that can handle the tax burden and can conversion the entire distribution without penalty, you are going to be better off in the long run. It is important to have some kind of projection of your future earnings and investment prospects. The major advantage of a Roth IRA is the fact that it defers earnings from taxation when they are distributed after age 59 and a half. There is also no mandatory withdrawal after the age of 70 and a half like there is with a Traditional IRA. Finally, the Roth IRA will have advantages over the Traditional IRA if you become wealthy enough that estate tax becomes an issue.

A person needs to have a comprehensive, coordinated, and continuous financial plan to give him the best chance of reaching retirement age financially secure. The issue of a retirement account has to be fitted into this plan in a way that produces the best results when considering your own individual situation. The advice of a financial professional can come in handy when considering the possibility of an IRA conversion to Roth IRA. This is true of just about any major decision concerning IRAs.

Related Tags: retire, retirement, saving, convert, conversion, ira, converting, retiring, roth

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