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Old 04-07-2014, 10:11 PM   #21
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I'm not a fan of non-deductible IRAs. I would prefer taxable myself.
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Old 04-07-2014, 10:34 PM   #22
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Years and years of ordinary interest and short term cap gains compounding on a tax delayed basis while you're in the 33% marginal bracket followed by withdrawals while retired in the 15% or 25% bracket are a good thing.
I like the non-deductible IRA better than taxable. I have enough taxable for years of living expenses and hopefully for plenty of Roth conversions after my taxable income goes down in ER. Meanwhile, I can let that account earn as much as it can without paying tax at my peak tax rate.
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Old 04-07-2014, 10:43 PM   #23
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I don't understand people thinking it was a big investing mistake. My IRA was all in a small cap stock fund and is now like 6x the cost basis.

When I bought in I did not have a ROTH conversion option.

Also, only 10% of our retirement fund is in tax-deferred accounts. And maybe 10% of that is the non deductible IRA. Maybe that's the difference.

Yes, overall I'm glad now that most of our funds are in taxable accounts.
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Old 04-07-2014, 11:53 PM   #24
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Thanks for all the comments. I think I will avoid the non deductible ira for now.
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Old 04-07-2014, 11:57 PM   #25
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This discussion shows that one use 401ks and irs for fixed income and taxable for equities. That is by far the most tax efficient. So a non deductable ira might be a good place to hold bond funds since you can defer the taxes (if interest rates were at a reasonable level)
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Old 04-08-2014, 01:20 AM   #26
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I'm not a fan of non-deductible IRAs. I would prefer taxable myself.
How about deductiblle IRAs if your income is low enough to qualify?

Or 401k beyond the match?
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Old 04-08-2014, 07:03 AM   #27
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I don't understand people thinking it was a big investing mistake. My IRA was all in a small cap stock fund and is now like 6x the cost basis.
If you had invested the same way in a taxable account instead of the non-deductible IRA, then the small cap stock would still be now like 6x the cost basis. But what is going to be the difference in taxes when you need to spend the money?

It is possible that you will be able to withdraw from the non-deductible IRA while in a very very low tax bracket, but that would also mean that you could withdraw from a taxable account and take long-term cap gains at 0%. Years ago, there was not the 0% LT cap gains "bracket", but it has always been that LT cap gains are taxed at a lower rate than ordinary income.

Furthermore, tax-loss harvesting is pretty hard to do in an IRA.
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Old 04-08-2014, 08:04 AM   #28
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I believe that you have to fill out Form 8606 for non deductible ira contributions from now to eternity. My friend got messed up in that and is now sorry. Luckly, on a few years before retirement for him.
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Old 04-08-2014, 09:19 AM   #29
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How about deductiblle IRAs if your income is low enough to qualify?

Or 401k beyond the match?
Fine with both since they can defer ordinary income.

I prefer taxable over non-deductible IRA since income is tax at lower than ordinary rates and I prefer that over just deferral of income but conversion of income from preferential rates to ordinary rates.
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Old 04-08-2014, 09:48 AM   #30
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Non deductible IRA has an advantage that you can convert it to a Roth if at some point you have a low income. You can never convert taxable to Roth.

Say you had a non deductible IRA with a basis of $30,000 that has grown to $80,000. If you are retired and living off of dividends plus some cash (maturing CDs, etc) you may be able to convert $25,000 a year of the IRA to Roth and pay no tax at all. $25,000 x 5/8 = $15,625 which still leaves about $4400 you could have in interest and pay no tax for a married couple ($20,000 in deductions and personal exemptions). You could have dividends and capital gains of an additional $20,000 or more and still pay no tax.
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Old 04-08-2014, 09:52 AM   #31
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Fine with both since they can defer ordinary income.

I prefer taxable over non-deductible IRA since income is tax at lower than ordinary rates and I prefer that over just deferral of income but conversion of income from preferential rates to ordinary rates.

If you're holding one of those Penn Fed 3% CD's in your taxable account, how do you pay less than "ordinary rates" on the interest?
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Old 04-08-2014, 10:22 AM   #32
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I believe that you have to fill out Form 8606 for non deductible ira contributions from now to eternity. My friend got messed up in that and is now sorry. Luckly, on a few years before retirement for him.
If you use turbotax it is no big deal.

I have a portion non-deductible. I'm OK with it. I plan on roth conversions later and will have to pro-rate. I think I can handle the math.

I put all my REITs in this IRA.
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Old 04-08-2014, 10:38 AM   #33
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If you use turbotax it is no big deal.

I have a portion non-deductible. I'm OK with it. I plan on roth conversions later and will have to pro-rate. I think I can handle the math.

I put all my REITs in this IRA.
+1

Doing form 8606, including figuring pro-rata withdrawals for either spending or Roth conversions is a no-brainer. Years ago, I fretted over it thinking I'd need a team of CPA's. When I actually did it, it was quick and simple.

Of the various things to keep track of with FIRE finances, the basis of either TIRA's or Roth IRA's is one of the easiest. I don't know where folks get the idea it's going to be some sort of "nightmare."
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Old 04-08-2014, 10:57 AM   #34
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Fermion, If your earned income with some deductions is below about $188,000 for married filing jointly you can move $6500 each if you are 50+. So there is a way to move taxable with limits. All gains will forever be "tax-free" unless they change the rules.

I copied this from "Fox Business"
"
Roth limited for income:
  • $178,000 to $188,000 for married couples filing jointly in 2013; $181,000 to $191,000 for the 2014 tax year.
  • $112,000 to $127,000 for single or head of household taxpayers or married couples filing separately and who did not live with their spouse in 2013; $114,000 to $129,000 for 2014 filings.
  • Zero to $10,000 for married couples filing separately who lived together at any time during either the 2013 or 2014 tax year.
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Old 04-08-2014, 11:02 AM   #35
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Fermion, If your earned income with some deductions is below about $188,000 for married filing jointly you can move $6500 each if you are 50+. So there is a way to move taxable with limits. All gains will forever be "tax-free" unless they change the rules.
If you have earned income. If you are retired and living off of your portfolio/cash, you probably will not have earned income.
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Old 04-08-2014, 11:12 AM   #36
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Exactly. If at least one person has enough earned income you can contribute up to the max in the Roth. I don't see why anyone with earned income wouldn't be moving their taxable account to the Roth if they are within the earned income limits other than the 5 year rules. Roth income is the only income that I know of that doesn't affect the taxation of Social Security.

I recently retired but wife is still working so I sometimes overlook the earned income caveat.
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Old 04-08-2014, 11:13 AM   #37
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Of the various things to keep track of with FIRE finances, the basis of either TIRA's or Roth IRA's is one of the easiest. I don't know where folks get the idea it's going to be some sort of "nightmare."
+1 too!

What gives me heartburn at tax time is some of the off-the-program calculations I have to do to get my max benefit on the state form. You know, some of the mutual funds have a percentage of income derived from treasuries. And then the muni fund has a percentage of munis from my state. I could blow this off, but it is to my advantage to calculate these out. Turbotax is not a great help for this.

But now that I have spreadsheet for that it isn't too bad either, just a pain that is tolerable. A similar amount of pain will proceed when I have to do my pro-rata distributions or rollovers some day.
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Old 04-08-2014, 11:36 AM   #38
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Non deductible IRA has an advantage that you can convert it to a Roth if at some point you have a low income. You can never convert taxable to Roth.

Say you had a non deductible IRA with a basis of $30,000 that has grown to $80,000. If you are retired and living off of dividends plus some cash (maturing CDs, etc) you may be able to convert $25,000 a year of the IRA to Roth and pay no tax at all. $25,000 x 5/8 = $15,625 which still leaves about $4400 you could have in interest and pay no tax for a married couple ($20,000 in deductions and personal exemptions). You could have dividends and capital gains of an additional $20,000 or more and still pay no tax.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bogie View Post
Fermion, If your earned income with some deductions is below about $188,000 for married filing jointly you can move $6500 each if you are 50+. So there is a way to move taxable with limits. All gains will forever be "tax-free" unless they change the rules.

I copied this from "Fox Business"
"
Roth limited for income:
  • $178,000 to $188,000 for married couples filing jointly in 2013; $181,000 to $191,000 for the 2014 tax year.
  • $112,000 to $127,000 for single or head of household taxpayers or married couples filing separately and who did not live with their spouse in 2013; $114,000 to $129,000 for 2014 filings.
  • Zero to $10,000 for married couples filing separately who lived together at any time during either the 2013 or 2014 tax year.
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Exactly. If at least one person has enough earned income you can contribute up to the max in the Roth. I don't see why anyone with earned income wouldn't be moving their taxable account to the Roth if they are within the earned income limits other than the 5 year rules. Roth income is the only income that I know of that doesn't affect the taxation of Social Security.

I recently retired but wife is still working so I sometimes overlook the earned income caveat.
Can someone confirm my logic please? I agree with these posts above. If the money is after-tax when you put it in, there seems to be no reason for a non-deductible IRA. A Roth IRA will also grow tax free, and then you have no tax liability in the end. The non-deductible IRA still has the tax liability on the portion that is the growth. My logic is same amount going in as after tax money, but one has additional withdrawal tax liability and one does not.

So why would you not use a Roth IRA instead of the non-deductible IRA? Both are IRA accounts, so you do have the money with withdrawal limits before you reach age 59.5 or retirement with 72T. I fully understand a regular taxable account instead so you can have access anytime you need. To me it is foolish to pay more in taxes by one choice non-deductible IRA vs the other choice Roth IRA.

I realize that you have to be below the income limits, so for some it may not be an option.
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Old 04-08-2014, 01:17 PM   #39
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I realize that you have to be below the income limits, so for some it may not be an option.
That answers your whole question. There is zero, nada, zilch reason to put money into a non-deductible traditional IRA if you are able to directly contribute to a Roth IRA. Some people make more than $190,000 a year.

Ok, that didn't take long. I did think of a way out scenario where you may have wanted to contribute to a traditional IRA instead of a Roth.

Say you have $100,000 in capital losses from previous years. You have a portfolio of losers where anything you sell is going to just be another loss. Your dividend and interest income are not enough to bring your MAGI up to $21,000 to qualify for a subsidized silver ACA plan. If you have some traditional IRA money however, you can convert that into a Roth IRA and use that to bump your MAGI high enough that you qualify for a subsidized silver plan. This could save you quite a bit of money and you still wouldn't pay any tax.

I told you it was way out there though.
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Old 04-08-2014, 03:29 PM   #40
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So why would you not use a Roth IRA instead of the non-deductible IRA?
We are discussing contributing to a non-deductible IRA when your income does not allow you to either deduct a TIRA contribution or to contribute to a Roth IRA.
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