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To convert or not to convert

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There has been a lot of discussion this year on whether or not someone who currently has a traditional IRA should convert it into a Roth IRA.  
In this column we will take a look at how Roth IRAs work, and if it makes sense to convert your IRA into a Roth.
First, let’s take a look at a brief history of Roth IRAs. Roth IRAs were established in 1997 as part of the Taxpayer Relief Act to offer another way for Americans to save for retirement.
Although contribution limits are the same with Traditional and Roth IRAs, there are some major differences.
Roth IRAs offer the following benefits:
 Contributions are made after tax, so earnings grow tax-free. after a five year holding period distributions are tax-free. There are no required minimum distributions.
As long as you have earned income you can still make contributions to a Roth IRA after age 70.5. A spouse can roll their spouse’s Roth IRA into their own Roth.
There is a possibility that you may owe less on Social Security taxes, since distributions are not included in calculations that determine if Social Security benefits are taxable.


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