Roth IRA conversions can be taxing.

If Meg and Mark Johnson have taxable income of $120,000 this year, for example, they’ll be solidly in the 25% federal income tax bracket. However, if Meg converts her $400,000 traditional IRA to a Roth IRA in late 2013, that would boost the couple’s income to $520,000. They’d move all the way through the 28%, 33%, and 35% tax brackets and still have $70,000 taxed at the top 39.6% rate.

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