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Subject:  Re: IRA mistake Date:  4/2/1999  4:27 PM
Author:  Bob78164 Number:  13507 of 127519

writeroads writes (in part):

WE called Ameritrade to see if we could convert [the traditional IRA we opened in 1998] to a Roth. Basically they said no. We'd have to sell the stock (I think that's what they said), withdraw the money, pay the penalty for withdrawing the money, and even pay the capital gains tax.

I reply:

You want to "recharacterize" your 1998 contributions, not "convert" them. These are different concepts, and I hope Ameritrade was simply confused by taking you too literally. Ameritrade should be able to do what you want. I recharacterized a portion of my 1998 traditional IRA contributions to a Roth IRA last month, and Vanguard handled it without a problem. If Ameritrade still won't get off the dime after you use the magic word, you might see about getting another custodian. --Bob
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