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Ron: I am not Max, but I think the answers are

I left my job, I have 401K money, I want to roll it over to a Roth. Do I have to 1st make it a regular IRA Yes

and subject myself to the taxes No, if you do a trustee to trustee transfer, there will be no taxes due, otherwisw you company wll withhold 20% before paying to you and you would need to fund the 20% and roll 100% of the total to an IRA within sixty days, or you will owe taxes and possibly a 10% penalty.

Say I make 30,000 a year. I contribute 3,000 to a 401K. Do I pay taxes on 27,000 or 30,000? Most 401k contributions are made with pre-tax money, so barring something out of the ordinary, you would pay txes on 27k, subject to all of the other parts of the tax code.

Someone else can jump in if I am wrong. JAFO
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