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Conversions are exempt from the penalty (at the time of the conversion). The conversion will carry its own 5-year period for penalty purposes, though, regardless of what other Roth activity you've had.

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Like Wendy, I am planning to covert a portion of my TIRA to a RIRA to exploit the 15% bracket each year. I am retired so this will the bulk of my taxable income. I am 54 and I plan on doing this each year for a as long as makes sense to get that 15% tax rate. But your response to Wendy about the conversion starting its own 5 year penalty period raises a question. In my case I will have a series of conversions at age 55, 56, 57, 58, 59, 60, etc.

Are you saying the conversion I do at, for example, age 59 can't be touched until after age 64 to avoid the penalty?
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