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Should I convert to a ROTH IRA?

Whether or not you should convert to a ROTH IRA, like most financial questions is dependent on the circumstance. First it’s important to distinguish between a contribution and a conversion.

A contribution to a ROTH is a not tax-deductible addition from a savings source that is not part of a current retirement plan. This is non-deductible because the gains on the ROTH IRA are income tax free at distribution, whereas a traditional IRA contribution may be deductible against your current adjusted gross income, and yet taxed upon withdrawal.

When examining a conversion to a ROTH, you are considering the possibility of taking an existing retirement account (IRA/401k etc) and paying the taxes on all or some of the funds in order to convert to a now tax-free ROTH account.

The contribution to a ROTH is limited based on your adjusted gross income. The phasing out of eligibility based on income differs from single filers to married couples.  However a conversion to a ROTH no longer has an income limitation associated with eligibility. If you are willing to pay the taxes on dollars that are currently tax-sheltered, there are no restrictions on the dollar amount of the conversion. It should be noted that while there are caps on ROTH IRA contributions, that is not the case with ROTH 401k’s sponsored via an employer plan.

The answer as to whether or not to convert to a ROTH is often, ”No,” but that is not always the case.

Joe Favorito

Joseph Favorito is a Certified Financial Planner™ who began his career in the financial services field in 1997. Over the past two decades Joseph has worked for several New York stock exchange members. In 2011 he founded Landmark Wealth Management, LLC , a Long Island-based Securities Exchange Commission registered investment advisory firm.