Hundreds of sites on the Web aim to educate consumers about Roth IRAs, and dozens have calculators designed to help you figure out whether you are better off converting to a Roth or leaving your traditional IRA alone.
All of the calculators have some shortcomings, however. For one thing, they don’t take into account whether you’ll lose income-contingent deductions or credits as the result of boosting your taxable income through a conversion.
Many of them also simply expect you to know what tax bracket you’re in and don’t attempt to adjust your bracket for the additional conversion income. In fact, only a few of the calculator programs will inform you that you are ineligible.
That said, here are a few of the sites that have better calculators and information:
* Calvert Group’s calculator includes a handy list of factors to think about before you convert. Find it at https://www.calvertgroup.com/calc/convert-to-roth.asp.
* Lutheran Brotherhood’s calculator includes a chart so you can track the differences between traditional and Roth IRAs at various ages. Find it at https://www.luthbro.com/investing/roth/T01-Convcalc.html.
* The Strong Funds calculator includes a helpful chart of 1998 federal income tax rates. Find it at https://www.strongfunds.com/strong/Retirement98/ind/calc/rollcalc.htm.
* Brentmark Software’s Roth IRA site at https://www.rothira.com reviews the numerous Roth IRA sites and provides links to dozens.