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Roth IRA Conversion: Does it Make Sense?
Charles SchwabLink to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Apr. 4, 2015

"If you pay the tax from your IRA, you lose the potential benefit of tax-free growth on that amount, defeating the purpose of converting. If you're under 59-1/2, withdrawing money to pay the tax would be an even worse idea, since you would also incur a 10% federal penalty.... If you need to sell appreciated assets to pay the conversion tax, the additional capital gains tax reduces the benefits of a Roth conversion. Assuming you have the cash available elsewhere to pay the conversion tax, you still need to account for the opportunity cost -- or how much money you could have earned had [that cash] remained invested in a taxable account."

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