Roth IRA Conversion
I don't know what percent of people the conversion favors. I do know it's worth discussing as it can have a huge impact for those who do benefit. Here are two examples from my personal experience:
80 year old woman, taxable income (I just did a projection for her) for 2006 - $27K. This includes an RMD (Required minimum distribution) from her IRA of $7950. Given how quickly the RMD rises - remember, her accounts are still growing, and the RMD divisor, dropping - it would rise past $11K by the time she's 84, and $15K by 90. By converting $4,000 this year, and just enough to stay in the 15% bracket, I project that by 90 we can have as much as $90K converted at 15%. Since the next rate is 25%, it's worth the effort. As an important side note, her two adult children are both 28% earners. When she goes to the Divine Treasury and leaves the IRA to the kids, their withdrawals from the Roth will not be taxed. And while she lives, if she has an urgent need for extra money, the Roth is her secondary emergency fund.