You are confusing some terms; a brokerage account simply means you have the ability to trade investments within that account; said account may be taxable, a traditional IRA, a ROTH IRA, a Rollover IRA or or an after tax IRA.Taxable: All gains are taxable for the year they are recieved. Capital gains or losses are figured on all sales; dividends may be taxed several different ways depending on their source. This I believe is what you were refering to as a brokerage account.Traditional IRA: Money goes in pre tax. Subject to max contribution limits and max income limits. Major penalties for access before 59 1/2;required min distributions after 70 1/2.Roth IRA: Money goes in after tax. subject to max contributions and max income limits. Your contributions can be withdrawn without penalty at any time. Increases must stay in at least 5 years and until 59 1/2 to avoid penalties.Rollover IRA: Can be from a 401K or another traditional IRA. As long asthey are both from pretax sources, they are treated the same as traditional IRA.After Tax IRA: Keep this as a completely separate account. Mixing with a pre tax IRA or Rollover from pre tax source will create an accounting nightmare. IRS PUB 590 is the primary source on IRA's. http://www.irs.gov/publications/p590/index.htmlDon
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