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Author: BruceCM Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 75787  
Subject: Re: Roth question Date: 2/12/2014 3:52 PM
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FoolishGardner
Yes, that's right.
The reason for the 5 year wait on a Roth conversion before the conversion amount can be mixed in with the basis of the Roth and withdrawn at any time without tax or penalty...for those not yet 59.5, is because were this not so, one could do a Roth conversion and then immediately withdraw the conversion as Roth basis, as a work-around to the 10% early withdrawal penalty on the TIRA. But after he IRA owner attains age 59.5, there is no longer a 10% penalty on TIRA withdrawal anyway, so the 5 year holding period for the conversion would no longer matter.

Here is the easy way to keep from getting these two 5 year rules confused:

For a withdrawal of a Roth conversion to be penalty free, one must have held the conversion amount in their Roth for 5 years OR reached age 59.5, whichever comes SOONER.

For earnings inside of a Roth to be withdrawn tax & penalty free (i.e. be a 'qualified withdrawal'), one must have held any Roth for at least 5 Years AND have attained age 59.5, whichever comes LATER.

And keep in mind that as I'd mentioned earlier, there are reasons other than reaching age 59.5 for exemption from the 10% early withdrawal penalty, such as death/disability, a first time home buy, qualifying educational expenses, etc.

Did someone say Roth IRA's are easy?

BruceM
Author: "IRA: A Quick Reference Guide"
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