I have read your books and watched a couple of your seminars. It made sense for me to convert our IRAs to Roth IRAs, which we did in 2010, and paid the taxes in 2011 and 2012. Unfortunately, I am reading and hearing on an almost daily basis that the government is going to start going after private retirement accounts. In your opinion, how safe are our Roth IRAs from some type of government interference?  It would certainly seem unfair to tax Roth IRAs again since the contributions have already been taxed.

One of the reasons that some people won’t convert their IRA money to a Roth IRA is that they don’t trust the government to keep the tax-free deal. While Congress has the right to change the rules, if they ever did, they would likely grandfather or exempt existing accounts from the new rules. In addition, the only funds in a Roth IRA that could be taxed would be the earnings in the account.

We are considering the "Stretch" process for the future of our IRAs.  Does it look to you that Congress may eliminate this?  Also, who will enforce and carry out our stretch wishes when we're gone?

The stretch process for taking death distributions from retirement plans using the beneficiary’s single life expectancy is in the tax law. While we cannot predict the future, it seems highly unlikely that Congress would eliminate it. It is up the beneficiary of the account to follow all the IRA rules once they inherit the account.

Have a question for Ed Slott? Please send your mailbag questions to mailbag@irahelp.com and we'll pick several to answer each Friday.