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Greetings, Tony, and welcome. You wrote:

<<I have 3 converted Roth IRA's with 3 different custodians, I would like to merge these into one self directed Roth IRA with possibly AMEX. My question is this, I have contributed 2K each of the last two yrs total 4K into one of these accounts, by merging these 3 accounts into one, will this in any way effect the way I would be able to withdraw this money when I need to? These IRA's were converted to Roth's two years ago if that makes any difference ( when we were allowed to pay the tax over four installments ) .>>

Merging those accounts has no effect on your withdrawals because for that purpose all of your Roth accounts are considered as one in determining what money comes out first. That's true regardless of which IRA you may choose to use for the withdrawal, too.

In priority, withdrawals are considered as coming first from annual contribution money (i.e., the up to $2K per year). Next from converted traditional IRA money from the oldest conversion to the latest. And last from earnings.

Thus, in your example and regardless of whether you merged your IRAs or not, the first money taken would be the $4K you contributed as an annual contribution over the past two years. Exceed $4K, and the next dollar would come from the converted IRAs (untouchable until 1/1/03 unless you wish to pay a penalty as well as speed up the income taxes payable that year). Exceed the converted IRA amount as well, and the last dollars taken would be earnings (untouchable free of penalty and taxes unless it meets one of the qualified withdrawals for a Roth or is otherwise an excepted IRA withdrawal).

See our IRA area at for additional details.


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