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{{The advantages of the after tax version is that one can still receive a corporate matching contribution (where it's offered) and it is far easier to make withdrawals, because they're not subject to the penalties associated with pre-tax plans. Corporations, again, usually restrict the number of times you can withdraw, but that's just to keep people from treating it as they might a bank savings account. And, obviously, you've already paid the taxes on the contributed amount, so owe taxes only on any increase in value that might have been received........}}

Hmmm. I have an IRA with Westinghouse which has both pre- and after-tax contributions. I would like to roll it over to a self directed IRA, but I have been told by two people now that a) the after-tax monies cannot be put back into an IRA, and b) I will owe taxes on the appreciated amount (as you say) but I will also be penalized for a "premature withdrawal", since the money can't be IRA'd. (The IRA is about 4/5 pre- and about 1/5 after-tax, by percentage.)

Any comments about this? I feel like the money is "trapped" for another decade unless I want to pay the taxes (that part is OK with me) AND the penalties (which is not OK IMO.)

Thanks.
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