Should I convert my 401(k) to a Roth IRA?

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Author's Note: Should I convert my 401(k) to a Roth IRA?

I remember my first real job with health care benefits and this confusing thing called a 401(k). Retirement savings? I was 22 years old! The words "tax-deferred" meant about as much to me as "amortization chart." I probably would have ignored the 401(k) option entirely if my dad wasn't such an overzealous financial planner. He made me read the fine print in my contract to understand exactly what percentage of my 401(k) contributions could be matched by my employer. Then he broke out the calculator to ensure that I spread my contributions evenly across the entire year to get the most "free money" from my employer without maxing out my contribution limit too early. Thanks, Dad. Without you, I wouldn't be able to afford to retire until I was 92, which suddenly doesn't seem that far away...

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  • Ebeling, Ashlae. "The Big 401(k) Match Mistake." Jan. 13, 2012. (Feb. 21, 2013)
  • Hicken, Melanie. "More savers can convert to Roth 401(k) under fiscal cliff deal." CNN Money. Jan. 8, 2013. (Feb. 20, 2013)
  • Internal Revenue Service. "Retirement Plan FAQs regarding Required Minimum Distributions." (Feb. 21, 2013)
  • Keebler, Robert S. "Five Reasons Not to Convert to a Roth IRA." March 10, 2010. (Feb. 20, 2013)
  • Lankford, Kimberly. "FAQs on the New Roth Conversion Rules." Kiplinger. January 20, 2010. (Feb. 21, 2013)
  • Ning, David. "Why a 401(k) Trumps Roth IRA Contributions." U.S. News & World Report. June 6, 2012. (Feb. 21, 2013)
  • Spiegelman, Rande. "Saving for Retirement: IRA vs. 401(k)." Charles Schwab. October 10, 2012. (Feb. 20, 2013)
  • Updegrave, Walter. "Retire Without Taxes." CNN Money. September 16, 2008. (Feb. 21, 2013)

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