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For many I suspect 70-1/2 and RMD gets you to your maximum income tax rate in retirement.

For early retirees, the numbers can be completely different, but then if they retired early, what income did they have in mind? A nice pension? Income from investments?

I took our current TIRA/401K balances and used a compound savings calculator to approximate what those TIRAs would be worth at 70.5. Then I used an RMD calculator to see what the mandatory minimum income would be and the tax bracket based on today's tax rates. If we do nothing, our tax rate during RMDs will be at least the same as now while working.

Since we will be retiring early, we will take that time to convert to Roths up to the top of the 15% tax bracket. We'll use savings/cap gains, also taken at 15%, to live on and pay conversion taxes for the years we have until taking SS. We'll have to see how that goes and run the numbers more closely to see if we should go higher than the 15% tax bracket, but IMO that much is a slam dunk...assuming things I have no control over don't change. Converting faster may be worthwhile if we decide to take SS earlier.

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