Changes in federal tax laws that take effect next year give high-income earners planning for retirement a decision to make: pay now or pay later.

Taxpayers making more than $100,000 a year in adjusted income will be allowed to convert to Roth IRA accounts from traditional IRAs after the ceiling is lifted at yearend. This means that 16 million Americans, according to tax returns filed with the Internal Revenue Service in 2007, may consider whether they want to make tax-deductible contributions if they have traditional IRAs or pay the taxes up-front and take tax-free withdrawals from a Roth IRA during retirement.

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