Author Topic: Recharacterize Roth to Traditional vs. Traditional to Roth  (Read 1143 times)

green daisy

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Recharacterize Roth to Traditional vs. Traditional to Roth
« on: January 21, 2016, 06:52:22 PM »
My husband is self employed and his income can be difficult to predict.  We've done Traditional IRAs for the last 2 years and I've started contributing to our Traditionals for 2016.  We are expecting he will need to purchase a new work truck this year, resulting in a large write off where Roths might make more sense. 

Does it make a difference if I contribute to the Traditionals and recharacterize to Roths if necessary?  Or is it better to contribute to Roths and recharacterize to Traditionals if necessary?  I'm thinking it makes zero difference but just wanted to double check.

We plan to fully max my 401K, and to either max or nearly max his solo 401K.

MDM

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Re: Recharacterize Roth to Traditional vs. Traditional to Roth
« Reply #1 on: January 21, 2016, 07:18:53 PM »
Does it make a difference if I contribute to the Traditionals and recharacterize to Roths if necessary?  Or is it better to contribute to Roths and recharacterize to Traditionals if necessary?  I'm thinking it makes zero difference but just wanted to double check.
Your thinking is correct.  Other than "If you contributed to a deductible IRA and its value rose, you can benefit by recharacterizing rather than converting directly to a Roth. If you converted to a Roth IRA and its value fell, you can benefit by recharacterizing if you are eligible for a traditional IRA" it is pretty much six of one or a half dozen of the other.  See https://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/IRA_recharacterization for more details.

green daisy

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Re: Recharacterize Roth to Traditional vs. Traditional to Roth
« Reply #2 on: January 22, 2016, 05:34:39 PM »
Thanks, MDM!