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...which depending on the retirees marginal tax rate for Fed + State, could be 25% to 40%.

Indeed, though I've posted in the past that looking at marginal tax rates for IRA withdrawals doesn't really make sense. My wife and I have no pension to speak of so our "income" in retirement will come from IRA withdrawals and SS. As pointed out earlier, even with SS, I'll be able to take out $55k and pay under 17% federal tax on that amount. I could triple the withdrawal and still pay under 25% of the total in federal tax.

On the flip side, converting an IRA today would cost me 33%+ in federal taxes. I can definitely see that converting some of my IRAs to Roths after I'm retired and my income is lower, but I don't see how it makes any sense for me today other than the risk of tax rates going up.

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