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When you divert money or convert from a traditional 401k or IRA, the income is tacked on top of your existing income and taxed at your highest marginal rate. In my case, that's above 30%

Bottom line, it made little to no sense for us to convert a traditional IRA to a Roth. Of course, if you're in a lower marginal tax bracket (15% or below) or you will have a substantial income in retirement, a Roth will make more sense. It's also a great idea to have a Roth to have more tax flexibility and avoid RMDs.

Two very good points. That is why it is vitally important to look at the situation on an individual basis.

In my case, I started doing the conversions after I retired. I plan the amount based upon how much room I have to the next hop. If I go over or under a little, I can live with it. The biggest thing for our situation was nearly doubling our income when I turn 70. This gives me 15 years to nibble off some of the trad IRA funds at a low impact.

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