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Converting to a Roth IRA

What are the benefits of converting to a Roth IRA?

You may want to consider converting some or all of your Traditional IRAs into a Roth IRA to take advantage of its long-term, tax-free benefits. Keep in mind, however, that upon conversion, you will owe income taxes on your investment earnings and on any deductible contributions made to your Traditional IRA.

When is it a good idea to consider converting an existing IRA to a Roth IRA?

A conversion may be advantageous if:

  • You can afford to pay the taxes due on the conversion from a source other than your IRA;
  • You want to avoid taking minimum distributions when you reach age 70½; and
  • You expect to be in the same or a higher tax bracket when you withdraw your money.

The reason? By converting your assets to a Roth IRA, you'll be paying your tax liability now - at a potentially lower rate-in exchange for tax-free growth and tax-free distributions in the future.

What are eligible contributions?

Filing StatusAdjusted Gross IncomeEligibility for a $5,500 contribution1
SingleUp to $116,000Full Amount
$116,000 - $131,000Partial
Over $131,000No contributions permitted
Married, filing jointlyUp to $183,000Full Amount
$183,000 - $193,000Partial
Over $193,000No contributions permitted

1 Taxpayers age 50 and older can make an additional "catchup" contribution to their IRA of $1,000.

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