To convert or not to convert?

For the last several years I've considered rolling my traditional IRA into a Roth IRA, but laziness, indifference, and an abundance of more important things to do than spending time calculating the tax implications of such a move always pushed this activity to the bottom of my list.

This year I have no excuse. And if I did, Jonathan at MyMoneyBlog has again reminded me.

With consideration to the other excuses, time is the main thing that has kept me from acting. It's a pretty cumbersome task to manually calculate whether this is a smart move given the multitude of variables. Well, thank God for the Internet! I Googled "to convert to a Roth IRA or not?" and found this terrific calculator.

I will have to pay ordinary federal income tax on the value of the IRA to be converted, but with some pretty conservative estimates (of my future investment return + a wild-ass guess at what my retirement tax rate will be), it clearly makes sense to convert. Tomorrow is the deadline, so I'll be stopping by Scottrade tomorrow.


Welcome to the club, brother!

For the first time in my life I had absolute and perfect clarity. When my first daughter, Fiona, was born, I remember the awareness so vividly. Before kids, I didn't know what I didn't know. As soon as I held her, I remember thinking, "Now I get it." I understood why I was placed on this earth: to love and care for my daughter. I'm doubly sure of that purpose now that I have two girls.

And so 34 years later, and after 39 weeks of waiting, my brother and his wife have joined the club as well. Welcome to life, Timothy; we'll see you this weekend!


Outlaws on Delta Flight # 749

Working in the dot com travel world, I'm on the road (or planes) a lot, though surprisingly I don't see many famous faces when I travel. My closest brush with fame was about 12 years ago when I not only got to see but actually sat next to the 2-time Super Bowl MVP and 3-time Super Bowl winning quarterback of the Dallas Cowboys: Troy Aikman. It was during the offseason, and he was flying back from D.C. to Dallas. He was quiet, reserved, and very gracious to the dozens of autograph seekers... including me.

I thought that my recent sighting of Hulk Hogan getting searched by security at Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson airport was an abberation, but perhaps it may have been the start to something.

I'm thinking that I may be on a roll because today I was on a flight next to Monte Yoho from the 70's band The Outlaws. I'd never heard of them before, but they play southern rock-n-roll, and I liked the mp3s on their site. In fact, I liked them so much I bought their Best of The Outlaws: Green Grass and High Tides album on iTunes. Monte was a really nice guy--genuine, unpretentious, and a real artist!