Traditional IRA RMD

This is my first post. Comment if I have placed this post in an incorrect topic.

I have determined that conversion of my Traditional IRA into a Roth IRA is appropriate for me. I have created a conversion plan that begins 2024 and ends 2029. I am not required to take a RMD distribution until age 73 in 2026. Are the Roth IRA conversions in 2024 and 2025 impacted by the RMD limitation to the amount that can be converted? Are Traditional IRA distributions taken before the mandatory year considered a RMD? Thanks for your time.

There are no limits on Roth conversions. Its all about the income taxes due from the conversion. How much you are willing to pay and how to fund them.

Keeping in favorable tax brackets is often a consideration. A series of partial conversions is usual. If you have low income years that can be a good time. Also when investment values are down you can convert more shares for less tax impact.

Its a good idea to convert before you reach RMD age. Once RMDs are due, they can’t be converted. So conversion taxes are in addition to RMD income.

Brokers like Fidelity can often tell you what your RMD would be for the current year before required. If you take that distribution from your TIRA it can be converted to a Roth. Tax on the distribution pays for the conversion. But note you are allowed only one conversion per year.

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Hi @pauleckler and @brownbeardad

Welcome to the Fool, brownbeardad.

This quote is confusing if you do not catch “would be for the current year before required”, meaning you are not of RMD age yet.

What the RMD amount of your current holdings may be is not germane to doing a Roth conversion. They are 2 completely separate operations.

  • The money/securities moved out of a trad IRA that are an RMD cannot be moved to any other retirement account. They must go to a taxable account.
  • RMD’s, when due, are always the first funds removed from the trad IRA, again, going to a taxable account. Once the RMD is done for the year, an additional amount may be converted to Roth.
  • RMD’s can never be taken “in advance.” They must always be taken in the year due with a single exception, and that exception is later, not before.

On conversions:

  • If you will be starting Medicare in the next couple years after a conversion, understand what IRMAA is and what affect it will have on your total Medicare premiums.
  • IRMAA looks at your last federal tax filing to calculate your next year’s IRMAA. (2023 tax return filed in 2024 for a 2025 IRMAA amount)

This is not correct:

If you do a Roth conversion where you are mailed a physical check, you can only do one conversion per year.

If you do direct custodian-to-custodian conversions, you can do as many as you want. Of the 13 years that I did Roth conversions, I did multiple conversions in 9 of those years for both of our trad IRA’s.

Does that help you?

All holdings and some statistics on my Fool profile page (Click Expand)


Thanks for responding to my question. I understand from your response that it is good idea to convert before reaching RMD age. Are you saying that if a conversion is done before RMD’s are mandatory at age 73 the conversion is not reduced by the RMD computed using the IRA chart for ages 70, 71 and 72?

You commented only one conversion per year. Is this an IRS limitation or Fidelty?

RMDs used to be required starting at age 70.5, so some tables still reflect those older rules. These days, the age starts at 73, and it is scheduled to move to 75 in 2033, per the Secure 2.0 act. This link has a decent summary: SECURE 2.0 Act Changes RMD Rules .

So yes, if a Roth conversion is done before reaching RMD age, that money stops being subject to RMDs, and there’s no longer a need for a person who turns age 70, 71, or 72 within a tax year to take an RMD for that year before performing the conversion.

Also, if you are subject to RMDs, while you can’t directly convert the RMD money to a Roth, you can use the RMD amount to pay your conversion taxes. That can be useful if you want to reduce future RMDs and don’t need to spend the money you’re getting from your current RMDs.

Home Fool

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Hi @brownbeardad,

The IRS is the “governing body”, so to speak.

And the post you responded to is not correct on this matter.

Please read my previous response.

Just to get one fact down, how old are you? Then we can figure out what RMD’s have to do with this discussion.

All holdings and some statistics on my Fool profile page (Click Expand)

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Yes, my experience is that Fidelity said one Roth conversion per year even though it was all internal transfer from one account to another.

But as always your mileage may vary.

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Thanks TMFBigFrog. This info is exactly what I needed to continue my conversion plan.

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You may also want to post to the Tax Strategies board. Hopefully, poster aj485 will comment on the tax ramifications.



Thanks for your comment. I will do that. I have responded to your comment earlier but have been violating some newbie discussion board rules. The last one was my response was too short. So, sorry for the long replay but need to have more than 20 characters.

Alan N. Arbuckle

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Ain’t that cute? 9876

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