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2. If my AGI is too high, does it still make sense to open a conventional IRA?


Your situation seems unique in that your AGI is temporarily inflated. In this situation, you could make a non-deductable IRA contribution this year and then convert it to a Roth next year. The basis calculation for the conversion includes the balances of all IRAs, so depending on your holdings you may not be able to capture the entire $2K. If you're married, it'll be tougher because the $100K AGI cap for Roth conversions is the same for single or married.

I am over the limits for a Roth and still make the $2K non-deductable contribution. It's a tough call every year. Buying and holding equity index funds seems like a good alternative strategy.
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