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I'd like to cash out the securities in one traditional IRA in my name and transfer/roll over to a different mega-brokerage traditional IRA account owned by my wife. Is that do-able?

My purpose is that I want to be able to maximize the amount of cash we can convert to a Roth in one year. It is $5k each. So, if I can throw $5k over to my wife, she can convert $5k and I can too, for a total of $10k in 2013. But I want to know if I can and if there's any reason not to.

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No. The "I" stands for individual. You can't transfer the account to your wife as an IRA while you are alive.

Converting has no maximum. Convert your whole IRA balance if you wish. And tell SWMBO to convert hers as well.

  • That is news about there being no maximum. If you can cite an official source for that, I will be overjoyed and give you a green checkmark on this answer. – Captain Claptrap Nov 6 '13 at 20:46
  • Deposits are $5500/yr or income, whichever is less, plus $1000 if age 50 or over. Conversions, traditional IRA to Roth have no dollar limit, just the amount in you Traditional IRA. Pub 590 is the IRS bible on all things IRA. – JTP - Apologise to Monica Nov 6 '13 at 20:49
  • Wouldn't this be a way to avoid early withdrawl penalties on traditional IRA's? Just convert to Roth, pay the taxes and then withdraw? – Captain Claptrap Nov 6 '13 at 20:50
  • No. Withdrawals from Roth conversion are penalty/tax free after 5 years or age 59-1/2 whichever comes second."Deposit" principal can be withdrawn any time, no penalty. – JTP - Apologise to Monica Nov 6 '13 at 20:51
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    Most welcome, happy to help. Money.SE is a collective financial genius at your call. – JTP - Apologise to Monica Nov 6 '13 at 21:05
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Unfortunately I have to write a lot of letters having the answer to your question being too short.

NO.

  • 15 letters a challenge? I've been given a brand new IRS announcement, 150 words, and asked to write a 500 word article to explain it to readers. – JTP - Apologise to Monica Nov 6 '13 at 20:35
  • @Joe were you able to? IRS has one sentence announcements you can end up writing books explaining... – littleadv Nov 6 '13 at 20:38
  • Yes. I can go fluffy when a check is hanging over me. – JTP - Apologise to Monica Nov 6 '13 at 20:53

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