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DH can also open a RIRA and contribute $3k this year; the amount for both accounts goes up to $4k in 2005, and DH will be able to invest an additional $500 catchup contribution when he turns 55.

No! The catchup contribution is effective starting the year one turns 50, not 55.

So, since DH will be 50 years old or older by December 31, 2004, his year 2004 Roth IRA contribution can be $3,500 other qualifications are met (filing status, modified AGI limits, and between the couple the taxable compensation is at least high enough to equal or exceed the contributions).
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