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ctbinv writes (in part):

Currently, I'm taking the year off of work to pursue some other interests and work on my home. Since my income this year will only be capital gains and I'll most likely be in the 15% tax bracket, is it a good time to move to the Roth because of my lower tax bracket this year?

I reply:

Yes, provided that you will have enough cash to pay the taxes without raiding your IRA. After the time value of money is taken into account, the choice between switching and not switching to a Roth is a break even proposition, assuming that tax rates remain the same. In your case, though, your tax rate is lower now than it will be at retirement (right?), so the conversion makes sense.

Two further points. First, you might want to ensure that you have $2000 in earned income next year, to enable you to make next year's contribution (which also should be to a Roth, for the same reason). Second, even if you choose to convert, you may still make future contributions to a traditional, rather than Roth, IRA. --Bob
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