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Greetings, Jennifer, and welcome. You wrote:

<<I.e. I cannot go to my bank (or whatnot) and say "I want to open a Spousal IRA" - it has to also "fit-in" to one of the other categories - it is not a solo investment vehicle within itself.

Or am I still just confused?>>

No, you're not confused. The spousal IRA is just a name to cover the contribution to a traditional or Roth IRA on behalf of a spouse who has insufficient earned income to make the contribution himself or herself. In general, the term applies to IRA contributions for a non-employed spouse based on the earnings of the employed spouse. In years past it was a term specifically defined by the IRS in Publication 590, and meant an IRA that received a contribution made for a spouse who earned less than $250 in the year. Now, while no longer specifically mentioned in the publication, it means an IRA contribution made for a spouse who makes less than $2K per year.

The 10 types of IRAs are, by and large, merely names attached to a specific reason for a contribution to an IRA. When all is said and done, an IRA is either a traditional or a Roth IRA. While the latter is always nondeductible, the former may be either deductible or nondeductible.

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