The Motley Fool Discussion Boards

Previous Page

Investing/Strategies / Retirement Investing


Subject:  Re: Roth IRA ....Still tax free after 30 years? Date:  9/17/1998  10:07 PM
Author:  Rayvt Number:  5490 of 96962

<<I'm 27 and seriously considering converting my regular IRAs to Roths. How do I know whether the tax free withdrawal provision written into the Roth IRA Law will still be in effect in 30+ years? The regular IRA used to be tax deductible for everyone, now deductability is based on income. Who's to say whether congress will remove the tax deferred growth from the Regular IRA. Are there rules written into their respective laws that prohibit congress from doing such things? Where's my guarantee???? >>

Good questions, and right on point. Too bad more people don't think about them.

<<Are there rules written into their respective laws that prohibit congress from doing such things? >>
This can't be done. No Congress can bind a future Congress; no law can be set up in such a manner that it cannot be changed in the future.

Our best guide to the future is to look at the past. Human nature does not change, nor does the nature of people who run governments. A few thousand years of recorded history says that the government is ready, willing, and able to tax/take money away from people at the drop of a hat.

This has been well discussed before. My opinion is this: There are three possible outcomes.
1) Pay taxes in the future instead of now (don't convert).
2) Pay the taxes now, on the assumption that you won't have to in the future (convert).
3) Pay taxes now, AND pay taxes in the future. (Convert, and then they change the rules sometime in the next 30 years.) "WHAT?? You mean they would *lie* to us??? Change the rules in the middle of the game???"

You can't control what the government does in the future (heck, we can't even control what it does now!). But you can control whether or not you pay taxes now.

Copyright 1996-2020 trademark and the "Fool" logo is a trademark of The Motley Fool, Inc. Contact Us