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Please forgive me if a similar question was asked before.

My son put $2000 into a regular IRA for 1997, for the first time. He wants to convert it into a Roth. He also wants to put $2000 into a Roth for 1998. The common advice is not to commingle the two resulting Roth IRAs. Apparently there's some tax advantage to keeping them separate. But will it make much difference, given that both IRA's are new and the conversion and new contribution will be made in the same year?
Another alternative could be - add $2000 for 1998 to the tradition IRA that was started in 1997. Then convert the combined IRA to a Roth. Is there any advantage or disadvantage to doing it that way?

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