Worries over capital gains are premature

DEAR BRUCE: I have heard that the Democrats will probably raise the capital-gains tax from the present 15 percent to 40 percent. Assuming this happens, would it be advantageous to take my money out of the traditional IRA account now, pay the 15 percent tax rate and reinvest it in my Roth account? — J.L., via e-mail

DEAR J.L.: While the Democrats may raise taxes, I seriously doubt that capital gains will be raised to 40 percent. However, if that were to happen, it would be advantageous to pay the 15 percent tax now, which you can do, but you are limited to how much can be put into a Roth IRA each year. Once the money is in a Roth, there are no more taxes to be assessed against it. All money that's invested in a Roth must be after taxes.

DEAR BRUCE: I was watching Suze Orman, and she said a woman should have a million-dollar umbrella policy on her husband, a 10-year life-insurance policy. Where can I find an affordable policy? Is there a better option? My husband is 50, and I am 65 years old. — M.S., via e-mail

DEAR M.S.: An umbrella policy is a liability policy that will pay if the individual who's insured gets into trouble, perhaps from an automobile accident, etc. The 10-year life-insurance policy probably refers to a term policy for a million dollars. Almost any broker or insurance agent can provide this. Your husband would have to sign off on this life-insurance policy, with you named as beneficiary.

Send your questions to: Smart Money, P.O. Box 2095, Elfers, FL 34680. E-mail to: bruce@brucewilliams.com.

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