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<If you compare a Roth to a standard IRA over time, starting with same amount of money to invest, doesn't it only make sense to open a Roth if you're in a lower tax bracket now than when you are retired? Doesn't seem like it would be a common scenario.>

BF, its the other way around. When you use the IRA, you are deferring taxes until later in life. Bad news is we don't have a clue what taxes will be like then (only that they won't be the same as now). Maybe my tax rate will be lower, but I have to pay it on all the earnings. With the Roth, I pay the tax upfront and anything earned down the road is mine tax-free (Yes, that can be changed too).

< I can see why the government would like to get their hands on my money today. The investment companies would probably like me to make a few transfers as well.>

If you listen to some of the financial advisors, they will tell you the Government loves being able to get the tax on IRA money now (through the conversion process) rather than 20+ years in the future.

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