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"We had about $13,000 in capital gains in a brokerage account. Instead of reinvesting everything I thought we would take some of the dividends in cash and use that money to fund a Roth IRA."

I take it this is realized capital gains?

"Is this a good idea? Would this cost us more in taxes every year because of taking the money out? Thanks. "

The most you can use to fund a Roth IRA is $2000 for yourself and $2000 for your spouse, if you have one.
For this year you might double that to $2000 for 2000 and $2000 for 2001, if you do it by April 16.
If you are eligible for a Roth IRA, it is a good idea to have one, because you will never pay tax on the capital gains if you follow the rules. Whether you use this money or regular income to fund it is up to you. You'd pay tax on the $2000 annually, which can't be too awful.
Best wishes, Chris
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