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Okay, I already know the answer to the subject line but it's a tad tricker than that. When I was 16 my mom set up a traditional IRA mainly as a tax advantage to reduce what I'd owe at the end of the year. I was working part time during high school and the investments (which I didn't know much about at the time) that were going to send me to college were doing quite well. Now, 12 years later, the traditional IRA is still sitting there. Most years, I've made the max contribution I could. This year, I couldn't due to a higher salary and my 401k participation. I've got about 32k sitting in the traditional IRA. I plan to open a Roth by the end of this year, just to have one regardless of the following question:

Should I 86 the traditional IRA, eat the tax now (really over 2 or 3 years - I can't eat it all at once) and plop everything into a Roth?

I suppose the alternative would be letting the traditional IRA sit there untill retirement and continue to contribute to my 401k/Roth. I'm already leaning towards the conversion (on the grounds of relatively poor returns [3-5%] in the traditional). But, I'm still undecided.

Also, I hope to not open up too big of a can of worms here. I know this is probably one of the bigger "Catch 22" type of questions out there.

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