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Subject:  Re: 457 Plan Rollover to Roth IRA Date:  1/9/2013  12:17 PM
Author:  MakingTrax Number:  117325 of 127613

Phil -

Phil writes: I asked what you are planning to do, not what you aren't planning to do. Let's say you're going to invest in five stocks. You buy them in the traditional IRA then convert into five Roth accounts, one for each stock. Come 10/1/2013 you see that three are winners and two are big losers. You can recharacterize only the losers, thus eliminating the "phantom" income from only those conversions. If everything's in one account you can't isolate just the loss for recharacterization.

Ahh....that's the kind of stuff I'm interested in knowing about; it would not have occurred to me otherwise to consider multiple Roth IRAs. Can mutliple Roth accounts be held under one custodian or would those have to be established through separate custodians?

Anyway, to your question. My plan was to roll the cash (via the Traditional) into the Roth, and then purchase 3 or 4 stable dividend paying stocks within the Roth brokerage account. However, I may rethink my approach now. I already hold some stocks within my Traditional that I would prefer be held in my Roth. Your point makes me see two things: 1) there is no need to track the 457 funds beyond the intial rollover into a Traditional IRA, as the real tax strategy issue is associated with the conversion to Roth (which may include additional funds beyond the 457 amount); and 2) there is some benefit to opening a new Roth account (with the Traditional custodian) and moving/holding stocks/assets there for a year in case it makes sense to recharacterize at the end of the year. I can consolidate multiple Roths after the recharacterization window closes to simplify bookkeeping. (The custodians must hate people doing this!!) I had intended to convert other Traditional funds to Roth this year as well (in addition to the 457 funds). Rethinking it in these terms makes me not so grumpy about the additional step for the 457 rollover.

I need to revisit the mechanics of my plan. Thanks!

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