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MJune writes:

My fiance is thinking about starting a ROTH IRA. We are getting married next year. Here's my questions/problems-

Once we are married, our combined income will be over the limit. I thought of starting one this year, also, but my income is over the limit. What happens when she starts a ROTH this year but we cannot add to it next year because of the income limit? Will it just sit there or do we have to convert it to a regular IRA. If so, say in 2000 we fall below the income level, can she contribute then? She is planning on quitting her job after we are married and have a child so that she can be a mom. How will that affect her ROTH? Should we just avoid the ROTH altogether?

I reply:

You might also check out the Tax Strategies board with these questions, but I think we can help you here. You will not be forced to convert your fiance's Roth IRA to a traditional IRA -- in fact, I'm not even sure that you'll be allowed to. If your combined income falls below the $150,000-$160,000 phase-out range after you're married (by the way, congratulations!), then you will again be able to contribute to a Roth. Since your income makes it extremely unlikely that you can make deductible IRA contributions, IMHO, taking advantage of the Roth is a no-brainer, but please remember that it's your money. Good luck! --Bob
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