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Roth IRA Conversion with Distributions Calculator

In 1997, the Roth IRA was introduced. This new type of IRA allowed for all gains (or growth) to be distributed completely tax-free provided certain requirements are met. Since then, people with incomes under $100,000 have had the option to convert all or a portion of their existing traditional IRAs to Roth IRAs. Starting in 2010, all IRA owners, regardless of income level, are eligible to convert their traditional IRA to a Roth. The conversion requires payment of income taxes on the amount converted. In this is payable with your income tax return for the year of conversion.

Is this a good option for you? A conversion has both advantages and disadvantages that should be carefully considered before you make a decision. This calculator estimates the change in total net-worth, at retirement, if you convert your traditional IRA into a Roth IRA. This calculator has been updated for the 'SECURE Act of 2019 and CARES Act of 2020'.

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Roth IRA Conversion with Distributions Calculator Definitions

Calculation notes
This calculator follows the SECURE Act of 2019 Required Minimum Distribution (RMD) rules. The SECURE Act of 2019 changed the age that RMDs must begin. If you were born on or after 7/1/1949 your first RMD will be for the year you turn 72. If you were born before 7/1/1949 the age remains 70 1/2. The SECURE Act did not change how the RMD is calculated; it only changed the age that they start. These rules took effect January 1st, 2020.

If you have RMD questions, please consult with your own tax advisor regarding your specific situation. If you are under 75 and this RMD is from a 403(b) plan, you may not be required to take distributions on the balance in your account before 1987 until you reach age 75. You may need to contact a financial planner or CPA to determine if this exception applies to your RMD.

The CARES Act of 2020 provided a temporary waiver of RMDs. The RMD waiver is for retirement plans and accounts for 2020. RMDs are also waived for IRA owners who turned 70 1/2 in 2019 and were required to take an RMD by April 1, 2020 and have not yet done so.

IMPORTANT! This calculator has been updated for the SECURE Act of 2019 and the CARES Act of 2020. The IRS, however, has not yet released procedures for their implementation. Future IRS published procedures may have an impact on enforcement and interpretation of these Acts.

Is beneficiary a spouse?
Check this box if your only beneficiary is your spouse. The IRS distribution rules use a uniform lifetime table to calculate all life expectancies for determining a minimum distribution. The only exception to this rule is if the only beneficiary is a spouse and he or she is more than 10 years younger than the account owner. In this situation, the joint life expectancy table is used. The joint life expectancy table normally produces lower required minimum distributions.
Beneficiary birthdate
This is only required if your beneficiary is your spouse.
Beneficiary name
Beneficiary's name to appear on the printable report.
Planned annual IRA withdrawal
Annual after-tax amount to withdraw from IRA. For Roth IRA the after-tax amount is the same as the actual withdrawal. For the traditional IRA the after-tax amount will be calculated using the entered retirement tax rate. If the gross traditional IRA withdrawal (before tax) amount is less than any RMD for the year, the RMD will be used.

The planned annual withdrawals last through the owner's and the spouse's lifetime. We assume no planned withdrawals, other than the RMD, for any non-spouse beneficiary.

Age to begin withdrawals
Age to begin the withdrawals. Default age will be the age of retirement, but any age greater than retirement age is acceptable. This allows for time to pass before any funds are withdrawn if other resources are available that can be drawn down first. If an age entered is less than 59 1/2, we assume a 10% penalty on the withdrawal.
Annual Increase of withdrawal amount
Allows you to automatically increase the amount taken out each year, once withdrawals begin. This can help plan for potential cost of living increases.
Roth Conversion Subject to Income Tax
This is the total amount of the Roth Conversion that will be taxed. This is the entire amount you are converting, unless you have made contributions to an IRA that did not qualify for a tax deduction. If you are not converting all of your IRA balances, the portion is not subject to tax is prorated for the amount that is being converted.
Pay your conversion tax bill from your IRA?
Check this box to use your IRA to pay your conversion tax bill. This assumes that when you convert your traditional IRA you keep enough of the proceeds, and pay any taxes or penalty on the amount, to pay any additional income taxes due to the Roth conversion. For the purposes of this analysis, we assume that you do not receive any interest on the withheld amount.
Calculate possible distribution penalty?
Check this box to calculate a possible penalty if you are paying your conversion tax bill from your IRA. There is a 10% penalty on distributions from a traditional IRA before you are 59 1/2. The penalty would apply to any amount you use to pay for income taxes on the conversion. There would also be a 10% penalty on any amounts that you use to pay the penalty. There is no penalty if you are over 59 1/2.
Filing status
Choose your filing status. Your filing status determines the income levels for your Federal tax bracket. It is also important for calculating your standard deduction, personal exemptions, and deduction phase out incomes. The table below summarizes the five possible filing status choices. It is important to understand that your marital status as of the last day of the year determines your filing status.**TAXTABLE_CURRENT_DEFINITION**
Tax rate at retirement
Expected marginal income tax rate at retirement.
Investment tax rate
Expected marginal tax rate for investments. This calculator assumes that you invest the amount that you would have had to pay in taxes in a taxable investment account. The investment tax rate is used for calculating the annual return on these taxable investments.