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Greetings, Tomolly, and welcome. You asked:

<<If I directly transfer my 401k(10k) and or 403b(20k) into a newly established trad IRA can I "count" this as my $2000.00 tax deduction for IRA contributions. If we roll my wife's 401k, again can we use this as an additional $2000.00 spousal IRA deduction. Neither one of us currently participate in a employer retirement plan.>>

No, you cannot. Rollovers/transfers from retirement plans do not count against the annual contribution limits for an IRA, and they may be unlimited in amount. Also, those contributions were previously made with untaxed dollars, so you certainly can't take a deduction again. You may, though, contribute another $2K each to your own IRAs in the year of the transfer provided you have the earned income from a job to do so.

<< Can I "mix" 401k and 403b's into the same IRA? >>

Yes, you can do so, but you may not want to. Once you mix those monies, they can no longer be transferred to a new employer's 401k or 403b plan. Around Fooldom we don't consider the loss of that eligibility a big deal, but it is a consideration. Therefore, if you think you might want to later transfer those monies back into a 401k or 403b of a future employer, don't mix them. Each should have a separate account. Additionally, you should not add annual contribution money to those accounts for the same reason. Once you do, they can no longer be transferred to a new employer's plan.

For more information on rollover/conduit IRAs and IRAs in general, visit our IRA area at

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