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Are there compelling reasons to avoid having two IRAs?
No. On the contrary, you can keep various IRA portfolios physically separate. Also, if you are paranoid, by putting IRAs in different brokers, you won't be caught if you need the money as the broker goes under. OTOH, if duplicate your portfolio in each account, you are doubling your expenses.

You must make sure, however, that your total contributions to all accounts does not exceed $2k per year. Transfers and rollovers don't count.

What happens at retirement time?
Nothing, other than you must consider the aggregate value of your IRA accounts when calculating your withdrawal amount.

Is it necessary to notify either broker of the other IRA?
Nope, its none of their business.

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