We’ve got Roth IRAs on the brain. Why? How would you like to never, ever pay income tax on investment gains and dividends and interest on some fraction of your money? Oh—and your beneficiaries never would either. Well?
That’s the magic of the Roth IRA, properly used.
Every single person may convert existing IRA or rollover balances into a Roth IRA, by paying income tax on the converted amount. Many believe income taxes will rise in the years ahead, above the scheduled increases in the current law.
Anyone may do a conversion of the amount they choose from existing IRA or rollover accounts, although other factors determine whether you are also eligible to contribute as much as $7,000 for 2021.
Here are some reasons that people are using this technique:
It allows folks to take advantage of the perhaps low tax brackets they are in currently: why leave the 12% or 22% or 24% bracket partly unused if you believe your tax rates will be higher in the future?
It provides a bucket for your most dynamic investments, where gains will never be taxed.
It offers balance to your retirement assets, between traditional “pay tax later” accounts and Roth “pay tax now” accounts. This reduces future RMDs (required minimum distributions) and increases your cash flow flexibility.
Like so much of life, we cannot know the future, so we simply do the best with what we do know. “A little of this, a little of that” may be a prudent way to deal with uncertainty. Future tax rates, future investment results, and your future cash flow needs are all unknown. So it might make sense to take a middle-of-the road approach—and build more flexibility into your retirement situation.
Roth conversions go by calendar year, so if you would like to talk about your options, please call or email us in the next few weeks.
Traditional IRA account owners have considerations to make before performing a Roth IRA conversion. These primarily include income tax consequences on the converted amount in the year of conversion, withdrawal limitations from a Roth IRA, and income limitations for future contributions to a Roth IRA. In addition, if you are required to take a required minimum distribution (RMD) in the year you convert, you must do so before converting to a Roth IRA.
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