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What to do with Roth

Chris Farrell Jul 6, 2010

Question: My husband and I have money in Roth IRAs. We had to stop contributing for three years because my husband and oldest son were both in college but since my husband graduated our AGI is too high to contribute. What should we do with the accounts now? Vicki, Cloquet, MN

Answer: I would leave the Roth alone. Even if you can’t make new contributions your existing investments will continue to grow and compound in value over time.

When you retire you’ll enjoy the benefit of tax diversification, too. Depending on your income or circumstances it may make more sense some years to withdraw tax-free Roth money and in others taxable income from your 401(k) or similar retirement plan. You can always tap the contributions (but not he gains) to the Roth in a pinch without paying tax or a penalty. I’d check to see if you still like the investment options you choose for the Roth, but that’s about it.

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