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. It also allows you to compare the impact of future Required Minimum Distributions between these accounts for both the owner and their future beneficiaries.