Ask The Expert: Converting to a Roth

Asked by Glenn 6/7/12

Good afternoon. I am 38 years old. I have 2 former 401k plans for my past jobs. I’m wondering if I should roll them over to a trad ira or a roth. I have about 30k in one and about 19k in the other. I plan on leaving the money in whatever ira I choose for about 20 years. Any advice?

Matthew Malone A:
Answered by Matthew Malone 7/9/12
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When it comes to a converting to a Roth, two questions are paramount. First, do you meet the income limits for a Roth contribution. Second, do you expect that your tax rate today is lower than the rate you’ll pay during your retirement. If both answers are yes, a Roth may be the right account for you. One thing to consider, since you funded your 401k with “pre-tax” earning, you’ll have to pay income taxes on the money you move into a Roth (Roth’s a funded with “after-tax” money, ie, there’s no deduction in the year you make the contribution).