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Your decision as to when to convert depends on whether the conversion amount affects your tax bracket and on whether you need the money placed in the Roth in less than five years. My strategy is to wait until age 69 and then convert to a Roth provided I stay in the 28% bracket. Otherwise begin to convert some of the IRA in prior years. Also remember that if you have a 401K in any substantial amount it will also need to be converted to an IRA (again depending on the effect on your tax bracket). If some funds remain in a regular IRA you will have to withdraw based on actuary tables in IRS Publication 590 (I think that's the right number).
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