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    Q&A: Converting a 403B to a Roth IRA

    Q: I started contributing to a 403b after residency two years ago, and I recently started a fellowship. Since I'm no longer contributing to that plan, what should I do with that account?

    Mike Merrill, ChFC
    A: Physicians who begin practicing and subsequently go back to training in a fellowship have a unique opportunity if they were contributing to a pretax retirement plan, such as a 403b. It may make sense to convert that old plan into a Roth IRA. As with most situations, the answer is "It depends." You will have to pay income taxes on the balance of the conversion, but no penalty is incurred. Investment earnings grow tax-free, and distributions are tax-free upon retirement, assuming you have reached age 59½ and have held the assets for five years. By doing this, you are able to create tax savings by choosing to pay the taxes while you are still in a lower tax bracket.

    Answers to our readers' questions were provided by Mike Merrill, ChFC, of North Star Resource Group in Portland, Oregon, and Todd D. Bramson, CFP, of North Star Resource Group in Madison, Wisconsin. Merrill and Bramson are registered representatives and investment adviser representatives of CRI Securities, LLC and Securian Financial Services, Inc, Members FINRA/SIPC, Registered Investment Advisers. CRI Securities is affiliated with Securian Financial Services. North Star Resource Group is independently owned and operated. 67680/6.09.

    Todd D. Bramson, CFP
    Todd Bramson, CFP, CLU is a financial adviser with North Star Resource Group in Madison, WI.

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