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LisNYY,

You got it exactly right in nearly every respect. Most brokers don't have any difference in fees between regular accounts and IRAs, except some have IRA maintenance fees, and sometimes the account minimums and trading options are different in an IRA.

Transfers are a hassle, but if they fit what you're doing, they might be worth it.

You can have 2 Roth IRAs, but can only contribute $2000 total per year.

Vanguard's $10 per year is still cheaper than paying $12 a transaction x 12 transactions = $144.
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