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Greetings, RyanK, and welcome.

There is a commercial that I have seen three times this week that states that there are changes in the Roth IRA and that unless you start one by Dec. 31, you will be missing out on some 'great benefits'.

I am guessing this is just a sales pitch, but I was wondering if there were any changes coming in the near future. I have yet to start funding my IRA as I don't have the income for it yet (still a student), and was wondering if this was something that I should be looking into in the near future.

Yeah, you're right, it's a sales pitch. It's main thrust deals with converting a traditional IRA to a Roth IRA by the end of this year so the income from that conversion may be spread over the next four years instead of being claimed all in one year. After 1/1/99, that four-year spread won't be allowed. It also deals with the issue of starting an account this year so the "5-year" rule starts early. That rule pertains to qualified withdrawals of earnings based on the number of "tax-years" it has been open. It means that if you make a deposit by 12/31/98, then you can make qualified withdrawals as early as 1/1/03.

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