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This has been discussed a few times before on this board and the opinions of the experts can be accessed through the search function.
The gist is that to open an IRA you must have earned income taxable in the US. A US citizen working abroad has a substantial (is it $72000, I think) deduction so your friends would not be eligible for an IRA UNLESS they don't take all their exclusion. If they declare taxable earned income of $2000 for the year, and pay tax on it, then they can establish an IRA for that amount. Logically it would be a Roth.
If they are young and plan to invest aggressively in tech stocks with a relatively huge potential for capital gains, it could make sense.
Best wishes, Chris
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