Relgular to Roth IRA conversion questions


S

sandybeth

We are both retired, ages 61 & 62. We started regular IRA's in the
80's. Then we started Roths when they came into being. We have much
more $$ in regular IRA's, and since I have 2 regular IRA's myself, I'd
like to roll one IRA (15K with Janus) over into my Roth (Vanguard).
Our regular IRA's are quite large and when we have to start taking out
RMD's, it is going to increase our income considerably--so I'd like to
postpone some of this by moving into the Roth. Questions:
1) Is this a good idea to begin with? I have no idea what our income
will be from year to year, but with pensions, hubby's SS, cap gains &
interest--$60,000 is a guess for 08. I can't see this getting lower
in future yrs, but higher.
2) Do we have to pay income tax on the entire 15K once we roll it
over, or just on the interest/dividends earned?
3) Do we pay the taxes out of the rollover monies or can we pay it out
of other income so our rollover doesn't get decreased?
4) Do the taxes automatically get billed to us or do we contact our
tax man for the details about sending pre-payments into the feds?
5) Does someone have a suggestion of a Vanguard fund that is
relatively worry-free with moderate growth that I can pop this entire
15K into? The rest of my Vanguard Roth is in Asset Assocation Fund
and Emerging Markets Fund.
6) Is it a good idea to move more money into Roths in future years,
being that the $60,000 will probably be the lowest income we will make
per yr.
SandyBeth
 
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J

joetaxpayer

sandybeth said:
We are both retired, ages 61 & 62. We started regular IRA's in the
80's. Then we started Roths when they came into being. We have much
more $$ in regular IRA's, and since I have 2 regular IRA's myself, I'd
like to roll one IRA (15K with Janus) over into my Roth (Vanguard).
Our regular IRA's are quite large and when we have to start taking out
RMD's, it is going to increase our income considerably--so I'd like to
postpone some of this by moving into the Roth. Questions:
1) Is this a good idea to begin with? I have no idea what our income
will be from year to year, but with pensions, hubby's SS, cap gains &
interest--$60,000 is a guess for 08. I can't see this getting lower
in future yrs, but higher.
see http://fairmark.com/refrence/ for your bracket.
If $60K is your gross income, minus $7000 for two exemptions, and $10900
Standard deduction, you are at $42K give or take. Chart at Fairmark
shows you are in the 15% bracket up to $65,100, so to my way of
approaching this, you'd convert $23K next year, just "topping off" the
current bracket. Let me know if that makes sense to you.
2) Do we have to pay income tax on the entire 15K once we roll it
over, or just on the interest/dividends earned?
100% of money converted is taxed (unless you had post tax IRA deposits)
3) Do we pay the taxes out of the rollover monies or can we pay it out
of other income so our rollover doesn't get decreased?
I'd only recommend paying the tax out of savings, not out of the rollover.
4) Do the taxes automatically get billed to us or do we contact our
tax man for the details about sending pre-payments into the feds?
(I'm not 100% on this, rather leave it to someone else)
5) Does someone have a suggestion of a Vanguard fund that is
relatively worry-free with moderate growth that I can pop this entire
15K into? The rest of my Vanguard Roth is in Asset Assocation Fund
and Emerging Markets Fund.
(same as #5)
6) Is it a good idea to move more money into Roths in future years,
being that the $60,000 will probably be the lowest income we will make
per yr.
Good? No, it's brilliant! I've been preaching this approach to all who
will listen. And you appear to be the perfect candidate, with enough
room in your bracket to make the effort worth it. Someone in the 25%
bracket already will find this a bit less compelling, but for your
situation, I'd jump on it.
JOE
www.joetaxpayer.com
 

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