Lincoln Financial Group Launches Roth Conversion Analyzer
Designed to Help Clients Understand the Potential Benefits of a Roth IRA Conversion
Taxes Matter New Research Suggests Taxes are the Greatest Expense in Retirement
PHILADELPHIA, March 18, 2010 According to research conducted by Lincoln Financial Group and The Spectrem Group1, taxes are the greatest expense, representing approximately one out of every three dollars, for high-income retirees. Additionally, findings show that nearly a quarter of retirees acknowledge they do nothing to minimize their taxes. The study shows that more than 40 percent of respondents indicated that taxes are a greater retirement expense than they anticipated.
With that knowledge, investors will be well-served by evaluating the potential benefits of a Roth IRA conversion. Beginning in 2010, all taxpayers are eligible to convert all or a portion of their traditional IRAs and other eligible retirement assets to Roth IRAs. Roth IRAs allow for tax-free growth and withdrawals and are not subject to required minimum distributions during the account owner's lifetime.
To help clients gain a better understanding of a Roth IRA conversion, Lincoln Financial Group recently launched the Roth Conversion Analyzer, a tool designed to help clients and their advisors make better informed decisions about the potential benefits of converting eligible retirement assets to a Roth IRA. But there's more to Roth conversion than meets the eye.
"What's especially important about the new conversion rules is how they reveal the significance of taxes as an expense for high-income retirees," said Kevin O'Fee, Vice President of Retirement Strategies, Marketing, Lincoln Financial Group. "Everyone, particularly those who are newly-eligible, should evaluate the potential benefits of conversion along with other strategies that address the effect of taxes on retirement and legacy planning. The key is collaboration with your investment advisor and tax professional with the goal of making an informed conversion decision regardless of the outcome. Our tool can play an important role in initiating that process."
Converting assets and paying taxes at today's historically low rates is a way to diversify retirement account types while hedging against an uncertain tax environment in the future. Conversion can also play an important role in retirement income planning. For example, an annuity within a Roth IRA can generate tax-free income that can't be outlived a powerful combination given rising tax rates and increased life expectancy.
Investors should take the following steps when considering a Roth IRA conversion:
"Run the numbers" based on your unique circumstances
Earmark funds to pay conversion taxes as needed
Take the tax-free aspects of a Roth IRA into account when developing your asset allocation and retirement income strategy
Consider the impact of a Roth IRA conversion on your estate
Collaborate with your investment advisor and tax professional
"One of our top priorities at Lincoln Financial Group is to truly understand the financial challenges consumers are faced with in retirement and provide advice and solutions they need to face the future with confidence," said Heather Dzielak, Chief Marketing Officer for Lincoln Financial Group. "Our research related to taxes and retirement is an example of how we challenge the status quo. This empowers us to develop initiatives and solutions that will provide cutting-edge consumer insights that will lead to better-informed planning decisions."
Lincoln Financial's Roth Conversion Analyzer can help evaluate the potential benefits of a Roth IRA conversion. The tool, along with other materials about Roth IRAs, is available on www.LincolnFinancial.com under Planning Tools.
About Lincoln Financial Group
Lincoln Financial Group is the marketing name for Lincoln National Corporation (NYSE:LNC) and its affiliates. With headquarters in the Philadelphia region, the companies of Lincoln Financial Group had assets under management of $141 billion as of December 31, 2009. Through its affiliated companies, Lincoln Financial Group offers: annuities; life, group life and disability insurance; 401(k) and 403(b) plans; savings plans; and comprehensive financial planning and advisory services. For more information, including a copy of our most recent SEC reports containing our balance sheets, please visit www.LincolnFinancial.com.
1 Expense Challenges of Age 6275 Retirees, Lincoln Financial Group and The Spectrem Group, November 2009