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need to know
U.S. stocks end flat as oil continues to slide
SolarCity shares plunge more than 20%
Apple CEO Cook’s deleted Super Bowl tweet
Google CEO Pichai gets $199 million in stock
How to get a free Chipotle burrito
What to expect from Whole Foods earnings
Sears warns on sales, to speed up closures

What to know before buying Beyoncé tickets

S.F. real estate looks like it did before dot-com crash
Every major city in the world, in one map

Americans quitting their jobs hit a nine-year high
NFIB survey hints wage gains are fleeting
Job openings are second highest on record

How to get mortgage approved: hope for sunny day

Can oil get so cheap that it won’t pay to extract it?
Oil sinks under $29 as EIA lowers price outlook
Barron’s Buzz: How low can the price of oil go?

99 Cent Gas May Be on Its Way
99-cents-a-gallon gas may be on its way: 24/7 Wall St.

Is the gold rally the real deal or ‘fool’s gold’?
Teen can keep $20,000 gold bar found in lake
Gold one of Wall Street’s best bets early in 2016
Gold futures stretch win streak to five sessions

Why is everyone freaking out about ‘CoCos’?
Convertible bonds are alluring as stocks fall
 
Deutsche Bank co-CEO says bank is ‘rock solid’
Deutsche may buy back billions in debt: FT
Why the selloff in European banks is ominous

This stock market has been Europe’s best in 2016

Strategists are arguing that stocks need a true purge

A strand of Lennon’s hair is selling for $12,000

These charts detail S&P 500’s precarious posture
Michael Brush: Stock-market stars are aligned
Double-digit market decline in an election year?

White House forecasts decade-best economic growth
Obama proposes $4.1 trillion federal budget

Five questions that Janet Yellen must answer
Yellen may say goal is not to slow the economy
Fed: Too white, too male, too many bankers?
Expansion won’t die of old age: S.F. Fed study

Facebook, Amazon are the keys to tapping this market
French regulator threatens to fine Facebook
India bans Facebook’s free Internet service


Two women laugh holding their dogs as they wait in line for them to be blessed outside San Anton Church in Madrid, Spain, January 17, 2016. Hundreds of pet owners bring their animals to be blessed every year on the day of San Anton, Spain's patron saint of animals. REUTERS/Andrea Comas
Madrid’s metro system is going to the dogs
This dog walker makes $110,000 a year

Europe’s battles: migrants, ‘Brexit’ and ECB
German output, exports drop in December
Roubini: Welcome to the New Abnormal


Hurdle on Yelp’s path toward $1 billion in revenue

This has been the No. 1 car in America for decades
How far can you get on $50 in gas?


/conga/frontpage.html 367496

Markets »

127.74MDow Volume:
Avg Vol: 129.39M
Unchanged
156
Decliners
4273
Advancers
2073
Price Chg %Chg 1 Day
Range: 1 Day
  • 1 Day
  • 5 Days
  • 1 Month
  • 3 Months
  • 6 Months
  • 1 Year
  • 2 Years
Dow
/quotes/zigman/627449/realtime 16,014 -13 0.08%
Nasdaq
/quotes/zigman/12633936/realtime 4,269 -15 0.35%
S&P 500
/quotes/zigman/3870025/realtime 1,852 -1 0.07%
GlobalDow
/quotes/zigman/629063/realtime 2,085 -19 0.89%
Gold
/quotes/zigman/33772884/delayed 1,189 -9 0.71%
Oil
/quotes/zigman/2260836/delayed 28.35 -1.34 4.51%
FTSE 100
/quotes/zigman/3173262/delayed 5,632 -57 1.00%
DAX
/quotes/zigman/2380246/delayed 8,879 -100 1.11%
CAC 40
/quotes/zigman/3173214/delayed 3,998 -69 1.69%
FTSE MIB
/quotes/zigman/1482176/delayed 15,913 -528 3.21%
IBEX 35
/quotes/zigman/2759620/delayed 7,928 -195 2.39%
Stoxx 600
/quotes/zigman/2380150/delayed 309 -5 1.58%
Asia Dow
/quotes/zigman/6959860/realtime 2,471 -44 1.76%
Nikkei 225
/quotes/zigman/5986735/delayed 16,085 -919 5.40%
Hang Seng
/quotes/zigman/2622475/delayed 19,288 +105 0.55%
Shanghai
/quotes/zigman/1859015/delayed 2,763 -18 0.63%
Sensex
/quotes/zigman/1652085/delayed 24,021 -266 1.10%
Singapore
/quotes/zigman/1709939/delayed 2,623 +65 2.53%
Euro
/quotes/zigman/16008136/realtime/sampled 1.13 0.00 0.04%
Yen
/quotes/zigman/16008150/realtime/sampled 115.12 +0.00 0.00%
Pound
/quotes/zigman/16008140/realtime/sampled 1.45 +0.00 0.03%
Australia$
/quotes/zigman/16008115/realtime/sampled 0.71 +0.00 0.11%
DXY Index
/quotes/zigman/1652083/delayed 96.06 -0.61 0.63%
WSJ $ Idx
/quotes/zigman/41508961/realtime 89.29 +0.01 0.01%
U.S. 10yr
/quotes/zigman/15866666/realtime 1.73 -0.02 1.27%
German 10y
/quotes/zigman/15866409/realtime 0.24 +0.02 8.00%
Italy 10yr
/quotes/zigman/15866497/realtime 1.69 -0.01 0.78%
Spain 10yr
/quotes/zigman/15866444/realtime 1.78 +0.03 1.43%
U.K. 10yr
/quotes/zigman/15866328/realtime 1.41 0.00 0.07%
Japan 10yr
/quotes/zigman/15866525/realtime -0.02 -0.06 163.32%
Crude Oil
/quotes/zigman/2260836/delayed 28 -1 4.51%
Gold
/quotes/zigman/33772884/delayed 1,189 -9 0.71%
Corn
/quotes/zigman/25518691/delayed 361 -1 0.28%
DJIA F
/quotes/zigman/48241424/delayed 15,928 -60 0.38%
S&P F
/quotes/zigman/43106711/delayed 1,846 -6 0.31%
Silver
/quotes/zigman/32655632/delayed 15 0 1.14%

Quotes

Symbol Price Change % Change
FB /quotes/zigman/9962609/composite 99.54 -0.21 -0.21%
AAPL /quotes/zigman/68270/composite 94.99 -0.02 -0.02%
GOOG /quotes/zigman/59527964/composite 678.11 -4.63 -0.68%
BAC /quotes/zigman/190927/composite 12.20 -0.07 -0.57%
C /quotes/zigman/5065548/composite 37.51 -0.30 -0.79%
F /quotes/zigman/264304/composite 11.35 -0.24 -2.07%
T /quotes/zigman/398198/composite 36.65 -0.46 -1.24%
BP /quotes/zigman/247026/composite 28.95 -0.97 -3.24%
GE /quotes/zigman/227468/composite 28.28 0.11 0.39%
Visit the quote page and your most recently viewed stocks will automatically be displayed here.
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Rates »

5 yr CD
1.3%
2 yr CD
0.7%
1 yr CD
0.5%
MMA $10K+
0.2%
MMA $50K+
0.4%

National averages from Bankrate.com

You Don’t Need Another Credit Card, You Need A Better One.
Avg. APR Last Week 6 Months
Low Interest 11.96% 11.88% 11.62%
Business 13.12% 13.11% 12.85%
Student 13.42% 13.42% 13.14%
Balance Transfer 14.35% 14.30% 14.12%
Airline 15.17% 15.16% 15.10%
Cash Back 15.26% 15.23% 15.27%
Reward 15.28% 15.25% 15.14%
Instant Approval 18.21% 18.18% 18.00%
Bad Credit 22.88% 22.88% 22.73%
Source:CreditCards.com

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Encore
A blog about living in and planning for retirement

As Market Tumbles, Time to Convert Traditional IRA to Roth?

iStockPhoto

There’s one way for people saving for retirement to use the market’s tumble as a force for good: Convert battered assets in your traditional individual retirement account to a Roth IRA.

Roths, you may recall, are retirement accounts in which you invest after-tax dollars and get tax-free withdrawals – and you don’t have to take them on a mandatory schedule, as you do with a traditional IRA. As of last year, there’s no income limit for moving money to a Roth from a traditional IRA or employer-sponsored retirement plan.

The catch is that you would owe income tax on the amount you convert for the year in which you do the conversion. And it’s generally best to use money outside your IRA to pay that tax. So, if you convert investments when they dip in value, you pay tax on a smaller amount – and have the potential for more tax-free growth in the future.

Converting to a Roth can also be a good estate-planning strategy. Although your heirs would have to take distributions from an inherited Roth each year, they don’t have to pay any tax on that income. And the money you use to pay the conversion tax, of course, is out of your future estate as well.

A few things to keep in mind: You can’t cherry-pick any after-tax contributions you’ve made to your traditional IRA over the years to convert. Instead, you get credit, proportionately, for after-tax money in your IRA. Here’s an example: You have $250,000 in IRA assets, including $200,000 in a rollover IRA from a 401(k) and $50,000 in another account, including $40,000 in after-tax contributions. That means 16% of a conversion would be tax-free.

Also, a conversion will raise your overall income, which could push you into a higher tax bracket.

Ed Slott, an IRA consultant in Rockville Centre, N.Y., suggests a good conversion strategy in a time of volatility: Put each different type of asset in a different Roth account. That way, if any asset class falls significantly in value, you can “recharacterize” that specific type of asset as a traditional IRA.

Keep in mind, though, that there’s waiting period after a recharacterization before you can convert again.

We wrote more about this strategy, along with other moves to take advantage of the downturn, in the Weekend Investor cover story.

What moves are you making with your retirement investments to capitalize on the carnage?

Comments

We welcome thoughtful comments from readers. Please comply with our guidelines. Our blogs do not require the use of your real name.

Comments (5 of 9)

View all Comments »
    • Converting a traditional IRA to a Roth IRA is an appealing option for individuals who believe their retirement income will be taxed at a higher rate than their current income. When you convert your traditional IRA to a Roth IRA, you have to pay tax on that money. Therefore, you must have enough savings outside your IRA to pay the tax on the converted amount. If you use the IRA assets to pay the tax, the benefit of converting to a Roth IRA may just about evaporate.
      http://www.nuviewira.com/

    • As everyone knows, any future Congress can start taxing Roth distributions, either directly or indirectly (e.g. by counting them in the income used to calculate Medicare B premiums). So you may have the experience of paying tax now when converting, and again when you take distributions. Any Roth is a gamble, and this is doubling the gambling.

    • with all the market turmoil, our combined Traditional IRA’s are down 3% since July 31 and 6% from the high on May 31. If we convert (we are in our mid-70′s) it will throw us into the next tax bracket and what will we have saved? We are staying with the Traditional IRA’s and taking the RMD’s as required. Yes, we pay tax on those RMD’s but so what? e look at the IRA’s as a money machine albeit that combined they only yield us about $17K taxable income which is useful for a vacation or a home improvement. The RMD’s are not part of our retirement planned income.

    • I think you might be wrong or a little vague on an important paragraph in this article. If you have a 401k w/both after-tax and before-tax contributions, the IRS has been vague (maddeningly so), but it appears that there is a defensible strategy to convert the after-tax into a Roth IRA and the pre-tax (and growth) into a traditional IRA and get the best of both worlds. If you look at Natalie Choate or Ed Slott, they both believe this is possible/defensible, with the caveat that the IRS has been slow to make public its take on this. There are several ways to accomplish this, but they seem to indicate that one in particular is the most defensible.

    • Good comments; Future obama tax increases is another reason.

About Encore

  • Encore examines the changing nature of retirement, from new rules and guidelines for financial security to the shifting identities and priorities of today’s retirees. The blog also explores news that affects retirement, from the Wall Street Journal Digital Network and around the web. Lead bloggers are reporter Catey Hill and senior editor Jeremy Olshan. Other contributors include The Wall Street Journal’s retirement columnists Glenn Ruffenach and Anne Tergesen; the Director for the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College, Alicia Munnell; and the Director of Research for Pinnacle Advisory Group, Michael Kitces, CFP.

MarketWatch - Stock Market Quotes, Business News, Financial News
Bulletin
Investor Alert

New York Markets After Hours

need to know
U.S. stocks end flat as oil continues to slide
SolarCity shares plunge more than 20%
Apple CEO Cook’s deleted Super Bowl tweet
Google CEO Pichai gets $199 million in stock
How to get a free Chipotle burrito
What to expect from Whole Foods earnings
Sears warns on sales, to speed up closures

What to know before buying Beyoncé tickets

S.F. real estate looks like it did before dot-com crash
Every major city in the world, in one map

Americans quitting their jobs hit a nine-year high
NFIB survey hints wage gains are fleeting
Job openings are second highest on record

How to get mortgage approved: hope for sunny day

Can oil get so cheap that it won’t pay to extract it?
Oil sinks under $29 as EIA lowers price outlook
Barron’s Buzz: How low can the price of oil go?

99 Cent Gas May Be on Its Way
99-cents-a-gallon gas may be on its way: 24/7 Wall St.

Is the gold rally the real deal or ‘fool’s gold’?
Teen can keep $20,000 gold bar found in lake
Gold one of Wall Street’s best bets early in 2016
Gold futures stretch win streak to five sessions

Why is everyone freaking out about ‘CoCos’?
Convertible bonds are alluring as stocks fall
 
Deutsche Bank co-CEO says bank is ‘rock solid’
Deutsche may buy back billions in debt: FT
Why the selloff in European banks is ominous

This stock market has been Europe’s best in 2016

Strategists are arguing that stocks need a true purge

A strand of Lennon’s hair is selling for $12,000

These charts detail S&P 500’s precarious posture
Michael Brush: Stock-market stars are aligned
Double-digit market decline in an election year?

White House forecasts decade-best economic growth
Obama proposes $4.1 trillion federal budget

Five questions that Janet Yellen must answer
Yellen may say goal is not to slow the economy
Fed: Too white, too male, too many bankers?
Expansion won’t die of old age: S.F. Fed study

Facebook, Amazon are the keys to tapping this market
French regulator threatens to fine Facebook
India bans Facebook’s free Internet service


Two women laugh holding their dogs as they wait in line for them to be blessed outside San Anton Church in Madrid, Spain, January 17, 2016. Hundreds of pet owners bring their animals to be blessed every year on the day of San Anton, Spain's patron saint of animals. REUTERS/Andrea Comas
Madrid’s metro system is going to the dogs
This dog walker makes $110,000 a year

Europe’s battles: migrants, ‘Brexit’ and ECB
German output, exports drop in December
Roubini: Welcome to the New Abnormal


Hurdle on Yelp’s path toward $1 billion in revenue

This has been the No. 1 car in America for decades
How far can you get on $50 in gas?


/conga/frontpage.html 367496

Markets »

127.74MDow Volume:
Avg Vol: 129.39M
Unchanged
156
Decliners
4273
Advancers
2073
Price Chg %Chg 1 Day
Range: 1 Day
  • 1 Day
  • 5 Days
  • 1 Month
  • 3 Months
  • 6 Months
  • 1 Year
  • 2 Years
Dow
/quotes/zigman/627449/realtime 16,014 -13 0.08%
Nasdaq
/quotes/zigman/12633936/realtime 4,269 -15 0.35%
S&P 500
/quotes/zigman/3870025/realtime 1,852 -1 0.07%
GlobalDow
/quotes/zigman/629063/realtime 2,085 -19 0.89%
Gold
/quotes/zigman/33772884/delayed 1,189 -9 0.71%
Oil
/quotes/zigman/2260836/delayed 28.35 -1.34 4.51%
FTSE 100
/quotes/zigman/3173262/delayed 5,632 -57 1.00%
DAX
/quotes/zigman/2380246/delayed 8,879 -100 1.11%
CAC 40
/quotes/zigman/3173214/delayed 3,998 -69 1.69%
FTSE MIB
/quotes/zigman/1482176/delayed 15,913 -528 3.21%
IBEX 35
/quotes/zigman/2759620/delayed 7,928 -195 2.39%
Stoxx 600
/quotes/zigman/2380150/delayed 309 -5 1.58%
Asia Dow
/quotes/zigman/6959860/realtime 2,471 -44 1.76%
Nikkei 225
/quotes/zigman/5986735/delayed 16,085 -919 5.40%
Hang Seng
/quotes/zigman/2622475/delayed 19,288 +105 0.55%
Shanghai
/quotes/zigman/1859015/delayed 2,763 -18 0.63%
Sensex
/quotes/zigman/1652085/delayed 24,021 -266 1.10%
Singapore
/quotes/zigman/1709939/delayed 2,623 +65 2.53%
Euro
/quotes/zigman/16008136/realtime/sampled 1.13 0.00 0.05%
Yen
/quotes/zigman/16008150/realtime/sampled 115.12 +0.00 0.00%
Pound
/quotes/zigman/16008140/realtime/sampled 1.45 +0.00 0.02%
Australia$
/quotes/zigman/16008115/realtime/sampled 0.71 +0.00 0.11%
DXY Index
/quotes/zigman/1652083/delayed 96.05 -0.62 0.64%
WSJ $ Idx
/quotes/zigman/41508961/realtime 89.29 +0.01 0.01%
U.S. 10yr
/quotes/zigman/15866666/realtime 1.73 -0.02 1.27%
German 10y
/quotes/zigman/15866409/realtime 0.24 +0.02 8.00%
Italy 10yr
/quotes/zigman/15866497/realtime 1.69 -0.01 0.78%
Spain 10yr
/quotes/zigman/15866444/realtime 1.78 +0.03 1.43%
U.K. 10yr
/quotes/zigman/15866328/realtime 1.41 0.00 0.07%
Japan 10yr
/quotes/zigman/15866525/realtime -0.02 -0.06 163.32%
Crude Oil
/quotes/zigman/2260836/delayed 28 -1 4.51%
Gold
/quotes/zigman/33772884/delayed 1,189 -9 0.71%
Corn
/quotes/zigman/25518691/delayed 361 -1 0.28%
DJIA F
/quotes/zigman/48241424/delayed 15,928 -60 0.38%
S&P F
/quotes/zigman/43106711/delayed 1,846 -6 0.31%
Silver
/quotes/zigman/32655632/delayed 15 0 1.14%

Quotes

Symbol Price Change % Change
FB /quotes/zigman/9962609/composite 99.54 -0.21 -0.21%
AAPL /quotes/zigman/68270/composite 94.99 -0.02 -0.02%
GOOG /quotes/zigman/59527964/composite 678.11 -4.63 -0.68%
BAC /quotes/zigman/190927/composite 12.20 -0.07 -0.57%
C /quotes/zigman/5065548/composite 37.51 -0.30 -0.79%
F /quotes/zigman/264304/composite 11.35 -0.24 -2.07%
T /quotes/zigman/398198/composite 36.65 -0.46 -1.24%
BP /quotes/zigman/247026/composite 28.95 -0.97 -3.24%
GE /quotes/zigman/227468/composite 28.28 0.11 0.39%
Visit the quote page and your most recently viewed stocks will automatically be displayed here.
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Rates »

5 yr CD
1.3%
2 yr CD
0.7%
1 yr CD
0.5%
MMA $10K+
0.2%
MMA $50K+
0.4%

National averages from Bankrate.com

You Don’t Need Another Credit Card, You Need A Better One.
Avg. APR Last Week 6 Months
Low Interest 11.96% 11.88% 11.62%
Business 13.12% 13.11% 12.85%
Student 13.42% 13.42% 13.14%
Balance Transfer 14.35% 14.30% 14.12%
Airline 15.17% 15.16% 15.10%
Cash Back 15.26% 15.23% 15.27%
Reward 15.28% 15.25% 15.14%
Instant Approval 18.21% 18.18% 18.00%
Bad Credit 22.88% 22.88% 22.73%
Source:CreditCards.com

SPONSORED SECTIONS

Trending Tickers
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  • /quotes/zigman/93928/composite PSEC-7.39%
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