• SmartMoney

Can I Convert to a Roth IRA — and Open a New One?

Question: I’m retired and earning $6,000 annually by working part-time. If I convert a traditional IRA to a Roth, can I open a separate Roth in the same calendar year? The rollover amount, by the way, is less than what I’m earning at my job.

– Bill Cowan, Peoria, Ariz.

Answer: Good news—the IRS says you’re free to open as many Roth IRAs as you want, but there can be limits on how much you can contribute or convert. If you’re over 70, IRA expert Ed Slott, in New York, warns that when converting a traditional IRA to a Roth, you may have to take a required minimum distribution before converting the rest. There’s no limit, though, to what you can convert—just on what you can contribute on top of that conversion, he says. In your case, that extra contribution limit would be $6,000, or what you’re earning at that part-time job.

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