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<<Roll 401(k) to IRA and convert roughly $15,000 to Roth. Conversion allows the couple to keep household income below $32,000, avoiding social security becoming taxable. Couple will continue to convert ~$15,000 annually to build Roth balance.>>

With 4-year averaging shouldn't you roll over $60,000
in 1998 and nothing in 1999-2001?

<<Scenario: Add $4,000 to traditional IRA's for 1998, since accounts already exist (didn't want separate conversion and contributory Roth accounts).>>

You might want to wait for the technical correction.
The need for seperate Roths may go away.
Adding $4000 to the Roth puts you a little ahead.
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