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"never make it to your return" is the answer I hoped to hear. That's all I needed to know. As for this part,

"Nothing gets taxed specifically at your marginal rate. You add up all your taxable income, subtract adjustments, deductions and exemptions, and you get to taxable income. The first $n of taxable income are taxed at 10%. The next $n at 15%."

You thought the wording of the question suggested not knowing that? Geeez. It's called shorthand. You believe in "just answer the freaking question" as you put it? I agree.

The question's intent clearly was whether the "last dollar" would reach the next marginal rate (you can take your "but 'the last dollar' isn't quite the right term" and put it in /dev/null) The answer is "never make it to your return" so even $100,000 from Roth in a single year allow you to have low marginal rates if your non-Roth is low enough..that was the essence of the question.

"suppose one would like to pay 10% in federal tax.." is similarly shorthand for suppose you want that to be the rate you pay on those dollars that are subject to said. You can condescend all you like about "riddled with misconceptions" and show off how brilliant you are and

"the most common being that you're 59 1/2 at the time of the distribution."

Guess you thought I never knew that either, guess you didn't notice the phrase "once you are of age" which refers, of course, to that very same thing, but don't let that stop're on a roll!

Your posts are "riddled with" condescension. I'm done with your and your board/s.. You can now wipe that ketchup off your soiled face having proved yourself the most voracious "eater of young" as you put it.
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