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I wonder whether there is also a conversion fee... If there isn't, that would be a possible workaround, since I don't think a conversion counts as a distribution.

Sorry, a conversion is a distribution. You have to distribute the funds to a new account in order to convert it.

(But you'd have to have a Roth account set up several years in advance for that.)

Not necessarily. You can first set up a Roth IRA by doing a conversion initially. In order to take distributions from that money without being taxed and/or penalized, you would have to have had a Roth account (not necessarily the one you converted into) open for at least 5 years and be 59 1/2 (or meet an exception), or the conversion itself must be at least 5 years old. But as long as you don't need to withdraw the money before then, you're fine.

AJ
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