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Nice chart!

I think the real value of large Roth conversions while still relatively young (under, say, 55) is for estate planning purposes as well as for tax purposes.

If one does not need the income from a TIRA as they age, when they hit 70.5, they will have no choice but to begin withdrawals as there are no exceptions (except, I suppose, the 2009 tax year) to this rule. Under current rules, the retiree could direct the RMD (up to $100,000) to a charity without paying the tax...but assuming the retiree wishes to keep the $$ in his/her estates as a legacy, the cost of taking the withdrawals and then compiling these in some sort of asset-transfer structure, such as an irrevocable gift trust or POD brokerage account, will be the taxes paid on the mandatory withdrawals, which depending on the retirees marginal tax rate for Fed + State, could be 25% to 40%.

The Roth avoids this, by allowing tax free buildup to death and then tax free life withdrawals to the beneficiary, who has the option of removing the Roth's assets at whatever rate they wish providing they withdraw the required minimum each year.

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