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Am I calculating everything correctly?


the actual amount of my cash contributions into our Roths since their inceptions is $11,000 with NO contributions made in 2008. In 2007, I made one distribution of $2756 which reduces my current total contribution to $8244.

So far so good.

The Total value of the Roths is currently $5145.45. It would appear that as of today, my loss would be $3098.55.

Since it's just us friends and I'm on my first cup of coffee, let's call it $3100.

My plan would be to liquidate the Roths at $5145.45 and immediately reinvest it into two new Roth accounts (one for me, one for my wife) as soon as the funds were made available to me (potentially less than a week). This could result in losing little or no value from the transaction (and even perhaps posting a gain if the relative fund prices decreased during the transfer)

For the sake of discussion let's say the market doesn't budge while you're out. Of course, if you wanted to make sure it didn't budge you could reinvest the next day, while waiting for the funds to settle. Remember, the reinvestment will be a 2008 contribution, so the source of the cash doesn't matter.

If I had an AGI of $100,000, after the 2% rule, I could a claim $1098.55 loss. If I had a 25% tax rate, this would convert into about $823.92 into my pocket.

Aw, you were doing so well and choked at the end.

Working from my simplified Schedule A entry of $3100, you get tax benefit from $1,100. At a 25% tax rate that's $275 added to your pocket.

I don't know how much you were planning on contributing for 2008, but if it was more than $4,855 ($10,000 - $5,145) you have given up that contribution and all its tax-free earnings in exchange for $275 in your pocket. Don't spend it all in one place.

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