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Can I convert my IRA to Roth after I turn 60?


Retirement savers convert pre-tax retirement accounts like IRAs into Roth IRA after taxes After reaching age 60, you can continue to increase your tax-free fund and then withdraw it in retirement without paying taxes. They avoid early withdrawal penalties and also don’t have to take required minimum distributions (RMDs), which can increase taxes after their retirement. Otherwise, they will have to pay a huge tax bill when converting, then have to wait 5 years for tax-free withdrawals. One Financial Advisor can provide valuable insight and guidance as you consider what to do with your IRA.

Roth IRA Conversion Basics

The difference between a Roth IRA and other types of IRAs are Roth accounts funded with after-tax dollars. That means you have to pay taxes on the funds before you contribute them to Roth, and you can’t deduct contributions from your taxable income. On the plus side, money in Roth grows tax-free and you can withdraw it after retirement without paying taxes.

You can convert pre-tax IRA accounts to Roth IRAs. This includes a Traditional IRA, a SEP IRA, and a Simple IRA.

When you convert pre-tax money in a regular IRA to a Roth IRA, you have to pay tax on it at your current rate. This can result in a large tax bill for the year when you do a Roth conversion. The converted amount is considered regular income, which can put you in a higher tax bracket.

Roth IRA conversions can be valuable for a few reasons. First, it could bypass the Roth conversion restriction income cap for higher income taxpayers. Most taxpayers can contribute up to $6,000 to Roth in 2021. But the contribution limits are lower for higher-income taxpayers and, after a point, no contribution at all. of Roth is allowed.

For example, in 2021 for married taxpayers filing jointly, allowed Roth contributions begin to be phased out at modified adjusted gross income (MAGI) at $198,000. Above $208,000 in MAGI, taxpayers cannot contribute to Roth.

However, there is no limit on conversions. Taxpayers with a pre-tax IRA can convert any amount in a year into a Roth IRA.

Roth IRAs are also exempt Mandatory minimum distribution (RMD). Mandatory withdrawals from retirement accounts begin at age 72 and can create a tax burden for wealthy retirees. But Roth’s owners don’t have to create RMDs as long as they’re alive. This makes the Roth IRA particularly useful leave an inheritance.

Remember that where you plan to retire is another factor to consider when converting a Roth IRA. If you anticipate moving to a state with high income taxes after retirement, the transition may make more sense if you retire in a state with low or no state income taxes.

Benefits of converting after 60

Roth IRAs are popular with younger savers who anticipate higher rates tax bracket later in their working life. However, they can also be helpful for taxpayers over 60. One reason is that taxpayers in their 60s may earn less than in their peak years, so the income tax on Roth IRA conversions will be smaller.

For those with substantial retirement assets and those anticipating receiving retirement benefits In addition to Social Security, a regular IRA’s RMD can also put them in a higher tax bracket after retirement. So converting to a Roth IRA can now, at the cost of paying some taxes now, reduce the tax burden after retirement.

Limit conversion after 60

Today, paying a large tax is a major disincentive to a Roth conversion. Another potential downside is that a Roth account must be open for 5 years to avoid paying taxes on withdrawals. After age 59.5, withdrawals without a 10% penalty may apply to early withdrawals. But income tax is still payable even for those over 60.

There is a way around this. Roth IRA Owners Can Avoid pay taxes when withdrawing if they wait five years after the conversion before withdrawing the converted amount. The same applies to any income on converted funds, except that tax is payable on withdrawals of earnings before five years, and Roth IRA holders are also subject to a 10% penalty of the amount they withdraw.

Roth IRA conversions are not recommended for all savers. For example, many retirees will have lower incomes than when they were working. For them, it’s better to use a regular IRA and pay taxes on withdrawals. Likewise, a Roth IRA conversion may not make sense if the taxpayer intends to leave assets in a regular IRA. to a charity organization.

Finally, the conversion of a regular IRA to a Roth IRA cannot be undone. A taxpayer who isn’t sure his post-retirement income tax will be lower than it is now might want to think twice about switching.

bottom line

For taxpayers anticipating higher taxes after retirement, converting a regular IRA to a Roth IRA after age 60 can help reduce their total tax burden over time. Roth IRA conversions allow for tax-free increases in income and avoid the required withdrawals that increase tax costs after retirement. However, Roth IRA conversions have a tax cost on the funds being converted now rather than later. In addition, funds converted after age 60 must be left in the account for 5 years before they can be tax exempt.

Retirement advice

  • Deciding whether to convert your regular IRA assets to a Roth IRA requires a careful assessment of your financial and tax situation. That’s where a financial advisor can be invaluable. Finding a qualified financial advisor is not difficult. SmartAsset’s free tool connects you with up to three financial advisors in your area and you can interview the right advisors for you for free to decide which one is right for you. If you are ready to find an advisor who can help you achieve your financial goals, start right now.

  • Use ours free retirement calculator to get an estimate of how you are progressing towards your retirement goals.

Image credit: ©iStock.com/kameleon007

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