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Maybe I shouldn't be funding my Roth, but instead max out the 401k to $20,500. Then when I retire convert the 401k to the Roth. I could get the tax deduction now, then move the money when I'm in a really low tax bracket. I am currently in the 28% bracket on the Federal level and 9% State.

Can anyone see a reason why I shouldn't do this ?

Makes sense to me.

Also, if I understand this correctly, I don't need an earned income to do a conversion to a Roth - is this correct ?

Correct. In fact, doing it in stages after retirement is probably something more people will be doing as years go by.

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