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I am new to the Motley Fool, and have a few questions about getting control over our retirement funds.

1. I am assuming that a self-directed IRA is a tax exempt vehicle where I can decide which stocks I want to invest the money in. If this is incorrect, please let me know.

2. I have been investing 6% of earnings into a 401K for the past 6 years. My company matches 2%. If I cannot transfer that money into a self-directed IRA account, should I reduce my contribution to 2% and put the rest of the money in a self-directed IRA myself?

3. My husband just started contributing 5% to a 401K, and his company has not decided if they will be contributing anything yet. Should he drop out of the 401K and just place that money in a self-directed IRA?

4. If we rolled my husband's 401K money from his previous employer into an annuity account approx. one year ago. Can I now roll that money into a self-directed IRA?

5. How do I invest in a self-directed IRA? Do I just ask my employer to have the money transferred? Should I be putting all this money into one IRA account?

Looking back, I see that I have alot of questions, but help on any or all of them would be most appreciated.

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