Client Portal
Call or Text:513-984-6696

Our Promise To You

We provide a comprehensive view of your financial life and all the factors that go into life planning. What this means to you is help with personal decision making and putting a date on things. We help you manage your finances and investments, while taking into consideration tax planning, professional moves, children, retirement, healthcare and other important priorities. It’s about life planning and gaining more comfort with your long-term financial security.

Blog & News

Value of Roth Conversions
Posted By:  Joel Musser CFP® – Wealth Advisor
Wednesday, August 1, 2018

blogSince the Roth IRA was introduced as a savings vehicle in 1997, people have been trying to get as much money into them as possible due to the fact that funds held inside a Roth IRA grow completely tax-free and can be withdrawn in retirement tax-free as well. As it turns out, getting money into this tax-free environment is not always easy due to income and contribution limitations and the cost associated with paying taxes now instead of later doesn’t always make sense either.

Having said that, Roth conversions can be extremely valuable long term, despite the fact that they require the account owner to pay more taxes now. When used properly, Roth conversions can remove funds from a taxable environment (Traditional IRA) now while in a lower tax bracket, in order to transition the funds into a tax-free vehicle moving forward (Roth IRA).

Here are four benefits we have realized in utilizing Roth conversion strategies:

1)      Roth Conversions can protect against future tax increases. Marginal tax brackets are historically very low after the passing of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act at the end of 2017 and have a very good possibility of creeping higher after the next several years, either through the sunset provision in 2026 (taxes will revert back to the previous higher brackets unless permanent legislation is passed) or through a myriad of other political happenstance.

2)      Roth Conversions can protect against being forced into a higher tax bracket in retirement due to required minimum distributions (RMD), which begin at age 70.5. RMDs are a percentage of an IRA balance each year that is required to be distributed as income. The RMD on a $1,000,000 IRA at age 70.5 is around $36,000 and will increase over the years as life expectancy decreases. If you and your spouse are retirees who have earned the maximum Social Security benefit, you could be collecting as much as $67,000 in Social Security income in retirement. If you add $50,000 (or more!) of income to your tax return due to an RMD, you could very easily find yourself in a higher bracket than your working years. Schwab’s RMD calculator is accessible here if you’re curious.

3)      Roth Conversions can protect against a tax increase due to a filing status change upon the death of the first spouse. Consider a couple, both age 80, with $1,500,000 in pre-tax IRAs and $40,000 combined Social Security benefits. While both are alive, their RMD ($80,000) puts them solidly into the 22% bracket. However, upon the death of one spouse, the surviving spouse must now file as a single taxpayer, but with the same RMD amount which could force them into the 24% or 32% bracket for the rest of their life!

4)      Roth Conversions can be a wonderful multi-generational tax savings tool. All IRAs are subject to required minimum distributions for beneficiaries and inherited Traditional IRA distributions are fully taxable to beneficiaries. All too often we see beneficiaries inherit Traditional IRAs in their 50s, which is often their peak earning years, causing these RMDs to be taxed at a much higher rate than the decedent would have been subject to had the distribution been made during their lifetime.

Starting in 2010 when new IRS rulings stated that individuals can convert Traditional IRAs to Roth IRAs regardless of Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) or filing status, Total Wealth Planning has been proactively using Roth Conversion strategies as a long-term way to maximize wealth. If you think this strategy may be beneficial to you and your family long term, we would be more than happy to discuss further.

For more information about the financial planning strategies we utilize, please visit us at or contact Joel Musser, CFP® directly at 513-984-6696.

Subscribe To Our Blog

Blog Categories

  • In the News
  • Business Owners
  • Charitable Planning
  • Client Experience
  • College Planning
  • Estate Planning
  • Executive Compensation
  • Firm Updates
  • Investments & Market Updates
  • Retirement Planning
  • Security & Privacy
  • Taxes
    • 02/04/2021 - Using Net Unrealized Appreciat
    • 01/27/2021 - Reducing Your Real Estate Taxe
    • 10/27/2020 - 2020 Year End Tax Planning Str
    • 04/28/2020 - High Income Professionals Can
    • 03/26/2020 - Coronavirus Stimulus Package -
    • 01/24/2020 - 2020 Major Tax Law Changes
    • 12/23/2019 - 2019 Year End Tax Planning Str
    • 10/16/2019 - Ohio Homestead Exemption
    • 05/30/2019 - Increasing Taxable Income as a
    • 04/18/2019 - Why You Should Provide Your Ta
    • 12/04/2018 - Payments to the IRS through "D
    • 08/01/2018 - Value of Roth Conversions
    • 06/18/2018 - Charitable Gifts from your IRA
    • 04/27/2018 - The Tax Saving Power of a Heal
    • 12/21/2017 - Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017
    • 11/03/2017 - 2017 Year End Tax Planning Str
    • 10/19/2017 - Tax Preparation is not Tax Pla
    • 09/17/2014 - 2013 Obamacare Taxes for High
    • 09/17/2014 - American Taxpayer Relief Act o
  • Financial Planning


Our investment management process is focused on helping you maintain financial stability, preventing mistakes and accomplishing your investment objectives. We don’t just focus on market performance or predictions. We focus on what performance means and how it impacts your long-term goals. It starts with returns, but it is about making life decisions. Working together, you gain a degree of confidence when uncertain times come.

Learn More


We help you determine how long to work and when to retire to continue your lifestyle. We analyze when and how to take money from your portfolio to replace your paycheck, with an eye on tax efficiency, spending, healthcare and social security maximization. We address the primary concern of having your money last for the rest of your life.

Learn More


Our comprehensive planning focuses on real life. It’s putting a date to your goals and steering your life based on analysis, giving you choices and alternatives. You gain the ability to see how reachable your goals are. It starts with getting to know you and the way you want things done to fulfill your needs. We take into consideration your family and all the secondary factors that go into a comprehensive financial plan.

Learn More


Total Wealth Planning’s team of Certified Financial Planners® are here to listen to you and your questions. We never want you to feel rushed. The real benefit is having a road map to help ensure the key elements of your financial life are in order.

Total Wealth Planning Associations











4665 Cornell Rd. Suite 160, Cincinnati, OH 45241 4665 Cornell Rd. Suite 160, Cincinnati, OH 45241
513-984-6696 513-984-6696
Don't let your small business distract you from your own finances
Tuesday, February 16, 2021


Follow us on Google+
Blog & News
Follow us on Twitter
Find us on Facebook