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yes, both mine and my fiance's 401k are requiring that we do something with our money since we're no longer employed with those employers.
For reference, "something" includes:
- take the money and run (the IRS takes half, though)
- Move to a new employer's 401K plan (apparently you don't have one
- Move it to a "conduit IRA" (sometimes called a rollover) This is what you should be doing.

we know that we will be putting them into separate ira's - but when you say put into an ira without tax
withheld i'm not exactly clear on how that works.

If you say "Give me a check made out to me", the 401K administrator is required to send 20% to the IRS before you see anything. If you say "Give me a check made out to XYZ Mutual Fund" they don't have to deduct the 20%; they give you a check for the full amount. Obviously you want the check for the whole thing--so make sure the 401K person does it right!

i read on the section on ira's you referred me to about the roth ira-is that what you would recommend for us both?
You have to be in a conduit IRA before you can be in a Roth IRA. Get your conduit IRA first (you'll be able to switch to a Roth in the future if you so decide).

I understand when you are in a 401k they ask you if you want before or after tax deductions, and i opted for before tax as it would make my taxable income less.
Good choice. Another compelling reason for "before tax" is that it makes bookkeeping a lot simpler.

but when you're in an ira do they take it out of your payroll check or checking acct on a monthly basis
Most IRA custodians have an "automatic investment plan" whereby they take money out of your checking account however often you want. Actually, though, if you have a spare $2000 it's best to contribute it as soon as you can after Jan 1. Remember that you can only add in $2000 a year to your IRA.
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