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Author: ObliqueApproach Big gold star, 5000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 76101  
Subject: Re: After meeting with a Financial Advisor Date: 10/7/2003 12:10 PM
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We do not qualify for IRAs except RothIRA.

Fwiw, I'm not expert on this, but I don't think the qualification requirements are any different for the regular IRA or Roth IRA. You just have to have earned income. The only thing that changes with a regular IRA is whether the contribution is tax-deductible, and that depends on your income.

All money contributed to a Roth-IRA is after-tax money, in that you don't get to take a tax deduction in the year you contributed. However, like a regular IRA the money grows tax free but unlike a regular IRA with a Roth IRA all earnings can be removed tax-free when you hit 59 1/2 (original contributions can be removed at any time, though your brokerage firm or fund company may charge a fee for this). Because of this, Roth IRAs are unbelievably powerful investment vehicles and you should run, not walk, to open one up this year if you can do so. Here is more info on IRAs and RothIRAs:

http://www.ira.com/faq1.htm
http://www.rothira.com/

I also explored ETFs a bit, but since we don't consider ourselves active investors who would check brokerage account (what we do not have yet) every week. We are more like to invest for long-term and not jumping from one place to another unless there are major concerns.

I was confusing in my earlier note. The ETF I mentioned - SPY - is for all intents and purposes almost identical to the Vanguard 500 fund. Both are SP 500 index funds. Thus, if you WANT to have the flexibility of getting out of this particular index fund quickly (into stocks or other funds or for any reason), buying the SPY through a standard brokerage account might be your best bet. You could open an account at Scottrade, put the money in the account, and spend $7 for a market order to buy SPY and then never touch the account or do anything in the account for the next 5 years. This may be cheaper than buying the Vanguard 500 fund. That's the only reason I mention this.

Fwiw, I would do some serious reading if I were you. Start with "Making the Most of Your Money" by Jane Bryant Quinn and take the time to read the various Motley Fool tutorials online. You really want to get more knowledgeable before doing anything.

For disclosure, I'm one of those mean evil people that BuildMWell warned you about, though I'm like nothing he ever dealt with.
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