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To: TMFPixy(Dave)

I could have researched this question myself through hours of search engine crap or consulted a Wiseman, but I'm entirely too lazy and too Foolish for that so I'm just going to go to the source of all knowledge (dat be you, Dave).

Here's the problem. Because of my Foolish success in investing, my investments are growing exponentially (or so it seems). I have a SEP-IRA (I'm self employed) that is now quite large. My other taxable ports are even larger (4x the IRA). I'm 52 and want to start withdrawing from the IRA at 59, if that's allowable. Also, what is the maximum per year I can withdraw from this IRA? I want to drain the IRA prior to my demise (hopefully I can time that better than I can the market) because I know that if I croak and there's still $$$ in it, my warm and fuzzy Uncle Sam is going to procure (a.k.a.: steal) 80% of what's left, correct? The Forbes Conversion calculator says I should convert 100% to a Roth IRA, even though the taxes will be 40% of the principle (Heimlich please, I'm choking to death!). Also the "rules" say that if your taxable income is over $100K (which it is), you can't convert to a Roth IRA, so maybe my efforts are for naught anyway.

At this point, I feel that additional investment acorns should be put in the regular taxed ports as I don't want the Fed to tell me when or if I can have the money and then take their pound of flesh besides. In summation ("Thank you, F. Lee Bailey"), my questions are:

1. Should (or even CAN) I convert to a Roth?

2. Can I withdraw big chunks starting at age 59 so as to drain the sucker by the time I'm "toes up"?

Thanks Heaps and Heaps for any help with these convoluted thoughts. You Fools at TMF are making a difference in the lives of all us everyday slobs. We are eternally grateful.

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