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I have the same reaction, huh? I don't understand what the point would be to contribute to a tax-deferred account only to withdraw that amount out of a tax-deferred account? If my wife contributes $6,500 into her traditional IRA next year which would cause the need to draw out an additional $6,500 out of a tax-deferred to replace that income, what has been accomplished?

If your withdrawals will be from Traditional accounts and are not due to RMDs, but because you need the money for living expenses, I would agree that you may as well not put her income into a deductible Traditional IRA. But then I would question why you are putting her income into a Roth IRA. You are effectively doing a conversion by putting her income into a Roth IRA and taking money out of the Traditional retirement plans to use for living expenses. Why wouldn't you just use her income for living expenses, and do conversions as desired?

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