Roth IRA and Other Roth Retirement Accounts
For many of us, Roth accounts offer advantages over traditional IRA and 401k accounts. They can be more flexible and more tax-efficient, permitting you to create and preserve more retirement wealth. This free online guide offers help in understanding how to choose the type of account that’s best for you, and explains special rules that apply to Roth accounts: contributions, conversions, recharacterizations and distributions. A topical index of the pages in this guide appears below.
Our book: Go Roth! (now available in a 2015 edition) provides a complete, authoritative, plain language explanation of rules and strategies for all types of Roth accounts.
What Hath Roth Wrought
This section provides introductory material to obtain general familiarity with the subject.
To Roth or Not to Roth
This section deals with the choice between traditional retirement accounts and Roth accounts.
Contributions to Roth IRAs
This section deals with contributions to Roth accounts.
- How to Start a Roth IRA
- Basic Rules for Regular Contributions
- Qualifying Income for IRA Contributions
- Spousal IRA
- Roth IRA Phase-Out Rules
- Modified Adjusted Gross Income
- Backdoor Roth IRA Contributions
- Possible Challenge to Backdoor Roth Contributions?
- Retirement Savings Contribution Credit
- Regular Contribution to a Conversion Roth IRA
- Roth IRAs for Minors
- Roth IRA for College Savings
- Excess Contributions to Roth IRAs
This section deals with converting a traditional retirement account to a Roth account.
- Conversion Preliminaries
- Conversion Eligibility
- Partial Conversion
- Conversion Consequences
- How Much Conversion Tax?
- Source of Funds for Tax on Conversion
- Periodic Payments and Conversions
- Post-Retirement Roth Conversion
- Regulation Spikes Annuity Abuse
- Isolating Basis for a Roth Conversion (special report)
- Recharacterization Overview
- Recharacterization Rules
- Roth IRA Reconversion to Reduce Taxes
- Extended Deadline for Recharacterizations
- Recharacterization Blues
Managing Your Account
Go Roth!, our book on this topic, contains extensive guidance on investing and other aspects of managing a retirement account, but these portions of the book are not reflected in this online guide at this time.
This section deals with distributions, the final stage in the life cycle of a Roth account.
- Distribution Overview
- Tax-Free Distributions from Roth IRAs
- First-Time Homebuyer
- Taxable Distributions from Roth IRAs
- Distributions After a Roth IRA Conversion
- Inherited Roth IRA
Designated Roth Accounts
This section deals with designated Roth accounts, which are Roth accounts in 401k and similar plans, including 403b and 457b plans as well as the federal government’s Thrift Savings Plan.
- Designated Roth Account Overview
- Roth Account Compared with Traditional Account
- Designated Roth Account Compared with Roth IRA
- A Roth Account Means More Wealth
- Contributing to a Designated Roth Account
- Who’s Eligible for a Designated Roth Account?
- Rollovers from Designated Roth Accounts
- Contributions Over the Limit
- Distributions from Designated Roth Accounts
- Five-Year Requirement for Designated Roth Accounts