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Does it make any sense to have 2 accounts, one IRA and one a private account?

No problem here.

If it isn't an IRA, I understand I will pay taxes on it, but only if I withdraw from it?

You only pay taxes on realized investment income. For example, if you buy Intel and sell it 6 months later, you will pay taxes on any gain on the sale. If you were invested in a money market fund, every month they pay you interest. The interest is then taxable.

If you buy Intel and never sell, you don't owe any taxes except for the "dividends" you receive.

Although I am 67, at this
point I don't believe I will want to retire for at least 5 years - possibly more.

Consider converting your IRA to a ROTH IRA. Even if you continue working, you will be required to take minimum IRA distributions at age 70 1/2. If you convert your IRA soon, you won't have this problem because a ROTH IRA doesn't have these restrictions.

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