Thumbs Up: Roth Conversion

Physician's Money Digest, February28 2005, Volume 12, Issue 4

This may be the year to bite the taxbullet and convert your traditionalIRA into a Roth. First off, to be eligibleto convert, your adjusted gross incomefor the year must be $100,000 or less. Ifthat's the case, a dip in the stock market,such as the one in January, canlower the value of your IRA so that youpay less income tax when you convert.For example, if you're in the 25% taxbracket, converting a traditional IRAworth $100,000 will cost you $25,000in taxes. If the value slips to $80,000,you save $5000 in taxes by convertingon the dip. By converting to a Roth,you'll be able to withdraw cash after 5years without being taxed or penalizedas long as you've reached age591/2. And, unlike a traditional IRA, aRoth doesn't require you to take minimumdistributions when you reach age701/2, so you can leave the money inthe account for your heirs.