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Greetings, Bwlee, and welcome. You wrote:

<<I have two IRA's (a traditional and a Roth). I am wondering if I should
convert my traditional IRA to a Roth IRA this year. Currently have
$16,000 in my traditional IRA and $4,000 at my Roth IRA. I am 25 years
old and this year my income will be particularly low (about 6000).

I used the Motley Fool "Should I convert my traditional IRA to a Roth
IRA" calculator, and its analysis confused me.
It said I should convert everything in my traditional IRA to a Roth, BUT
in the future I should make contributions to my TRADITIONAL IRA NOT MY
ROTH IRA. This doesn't make any sense to me. Considering my age,
wouldn't I want to keep building my Roth IRA so that I could collect tax
free withdrawls which are likely to be much bigger than any taxes I
would pay on contributions?>>

The conversion issue depends on a lot of factors, not the least of which is your tax rate today versus that in retirement, how the taxes will be paid, how long the money can stay in the Roth, and the size of your potential estate. For details, see my analysis of this issue in the post appearing at

As to the conversion calculator, that's simply a link to one offered on line. It was not developed by TMF. I think, though, that the result has to do with your assumptions regarding the rate of return in your IRA choices and your assumptions regarding your tax rates today versus those in retirement. The calculator gives you some examples in the options section when you get down to the inputs for the future. Look at the examples provided, and you might get an idea of what's happening in your assumptions.

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