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Hi all,

I have a little over $10000 worth of stocks in a regular taxable account with an online broker. With this, however, I'd like to set up IRAs for my wife and I. I was reading in the Fool website
( http://www.fool.com/money/allaboutiras/allaboutiras01.htm ) that for 2004 the maximum contribution is $3000. Does that mean that the IRA can only be opened with up to $3000, that is, one big “contribution” equal to the maximum allowed? Can they be opened with a blend of stocks and cash?

Also, one exception to the 10% penalty for IRA withdrawals prior to age 59.5 is if the withdrawal is used for the first time purchase of a home. Let's say five years from now we'll buy our first home. So if we BOTH take some money from each of our respective IRAs for the down payment of our house, then BOTH withdrawals are exempt from the 10% penalty?

Also, are the answers to both these questions the same for traditional as for ROTH IRAs?

Thanks!
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