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Greetings, Emmkaye, and welcome. You wrote:

<<I am finally free of 185 lbs of dead weight and find myself with a simple IRA that I think needs to move over to a Roth. I've had an IRA for 3 years and have already made my contribution for 2000. Filing married/separate precluded my rolling over before now. I'm in the military and my AGI is $30,000 or less (depending upon which hostile, tax-free area I'm sent to for deployments). What is the best way to do this? Additionally, I'm interested in investing using the "Foolish four." Can I use my current bank's IRA services or find another when I begin investing? Can I roll over a simple from one institution to another institution's Roth?>>

If and only if you have participated in the SIMPLE-IRA for at least two years can it be moved to a Roth. Prior to that time, you may only transfer the money to another SIMPLE. Do otherwise, and you must pay a 25% penalty plus income taxes on the amount transferred. If you meet the two years, then any broker can help you transfer the money to a self-directed Roth IRA within which you may trade stocks like the Foolish Four. Your bank is not a broker, so that's probably not a good place to put your money. Some have relationships with brokers, but that would cost you more than choosing one on your own. And yes, you may do a custodian-to-custodian transfer at any time.

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