How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Richard Your Own Question
Richard, Tax Attorney
Category: Tax
Satisfied Customers: 53705
Experience:  29 years of experience as a tax, real estate, and business attorney.
Type Your Tax Question Here...
Richard is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I have a 401k that Ive maintained through a previous employer.

This answer was rated:

I have a 401k that I've maintained through a previous employer. I'm 52 and considering rolling the 401k into a Roth. I understand that I can split the income on my 2011 and 2012 tax returns. It sounds like I would pay the tax bill from cash. Then all subsequent earnings on the Roth would be tax free. For me, tax bill would be about $100k over this period. I know I would have access to the account after 5 years.

My question: Isn't this just betting on the tax rates being higher after I'm 59 1/2? Otherwise why would I take this big tax right now?

Good evening. Actually, you are betting on two things..the tax rates being higher in the future and the fact that your assets will be appreciating and that such appreciation won't be subject to any tax. But, you have a point, because your rates are likely to be higher now when you are working than later when you are not. So, unless you think you are going to have a lot of appreciation, you wouldn't make the decision.



I hope this has given you the guidance you were seeking. I wish you the best of luck!


If you have a follow-up question, please remember that there might be a delay between your follow up questions and my answers because I may be helping other clients or taking a break.


If I have adequately answered your question, even though the answer might not have been the one for which you hoped, I would appreciate it if you would please click the GREEN ACCEPT button so that I receive credit for my work; otherwise, though you have made a deposit, I do not receive credit.

If you need additional clarification on this question after clicking ACCEPT, please do not hesitate to click Reply and I will be happy to do what I can to help you further. Thanks for allowing me to be of service to you.


The information given here is not legal advice. As all states have different intricacies in their laws, the information given is general only. This communication does not establish an attorney-client relationship with you. I hope this answer has been helpful to you.


Richard and 4 other Tax Specialists are ready to help you