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A little off topic, but:

Anyone out there have a low expense approach to setting up and maintaining a Roth IRA? Dean Witter wants to charge $30/year, which I thought was high, until I looked at Datek, which charges up to $45/year, with a veiled threat to increase in '99 and onwards.

Also, if my wife & I file jointly and our AGI is ~ 100K, can I contribute up to $4000/year? Or is it just $2000?

Thanks,
Steve

btw, I use Datek for my taxable account and am very happy with their service...
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"Anyone out there have a low expense approach to setting up and maintaining a Roth IRA? Dean Witter wants to charge $30/year, which I thought was high, until I looked at Datek, which charges up to $45/year, with a veiled threat to increase in '99 and onwards."

I have an account with Charles Schwab, and called them about the fees for Roth IRA. They will waive the fee if you do an automatic investment each month into your Roth IRA account through your bank. I would call them again to confirm.

good luck
Jin
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Check out Ameritrade. No yearly charge or setup fees for IRAs.
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"I have an account with Charles Schwab, and called them about the fees for Roth IRA. They will waive the fee if you do an automatic investment each month into your Roth IRA account through your bank. I would call them again to confirm."

I checked online - they do offer to waive the fee (of $29/year) if you do an automatic investment. I'm not sure that it's worth the hassle for me (I just want to plunk down $4000 for 1998 and buy 1 stock) and Schwab also charges $30/trade. I think Datek might be best for me (even at $45/year for the fee, $10/trade puts me even w/ Schwab and I already use them, which is a big plus).

Another poster suggested AmeriTrade, but I've recently read about people having trouble with them (on the Dell board).

Thanks to all for your help!

Steve
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[[Anyone out there have a low expense approach to setting up and maintaining a Roth IRA? Dean
Witter wants to charge $30/year, which I thought was high, until I looked at Datek, which charges
up to $45/year, with a veiled threat to increase in '99 and onwards.]]

Hopefully the prior posts will help you with this issue.

[[ Also, if my wife & I file jointly and our AGI is ~ 100K, can I contribute up to $4000/year? Or is it
just $2000?]]

Remember that the conversion AGI limitations ($100k) are different from the contribution limitations. In order to clear this up for you, here is an excerpt from next weeks post on the Roth IRA...

Income Limitations

And now for the bad news -- some individuals may not be eligible for the Roth IRA. Limitations based upon your tax filing status and Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) are listed below:

Single and Head of Household Filers:
Income: AGI = $95,000 or less
Rule: $2,000 contribution to a Roth IRA is fully allowable (assuming that the earned income rules are met).

When AGI rises above $110,000, no Roth IRA contribution is allowable. Between the $95,000 and $110,000 "phase out" range, only a partial Roth IRA contribution will be allowed.

Joint Filers:
Income: AGI = $150,000 or less
Rule: $2,000 contribution to a Roth IRA for each of the joint filers is fully allowable (again, assuming that the earned income rules are met).

When AGI rises above $160,000, no Roth IRA contribution is allowable. Between the $150,000 and $160,000 "phase out" range, only a partial Roth IRA contribution will be allowed.

Married filing separately
For married persons filing separate returns, the AGI limitation is so severe as to virtually prohibit a Roth IRA contribution. For married/separate filers, the "phase out" range is between $0 and $10,000. This means that a married/separate filer will never be able to take a full Roth IRA contribution, and when AGI rises above $10,000, no Roth IRA contribution will be allowed whatsoever.

What the Heck is a "Phase Out Range"?

If you fall into the "phase out" ranges listed above, your Roth IRA contribution is limited on a pro-rata basis, depending upon how far your AGI moves into the phase out range.

Example: Jill, a single person, has AGI of $105,000, has earned income of at least $2,000, and is not a participant in her employer's pension/profit sharing plan. Since Jill is two-thirds into the phase out range, she is only allowed a one-third contribution to her Roth IRA. Therefore, her maximum Roth IRA contribution would amount to $666.67 (which she can round up to $670). Since her Roth IRA was limited, can she make a regular IRA contribution? Sure…in the amount of $1,330. Will that IRA contribution be deductible? That will depend upon Jill's circumstances. In our example, Jill isn't a participant in her employer's pension/profit sharing plan, so her regular IRA would be fully deductible. If she were a participant in her employers pension plan, her deductible IRA contribution would also be limited. If you are unsure about the regular IRA deduction issues, check out my post on that very issue in the Taxes FAQ area.

Hope this helps...
TMF Taxes
Roy

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Hi Steve

I've also been through this whole IRA thing recently, and I just have to point out:

Ameritrade *does* have a $25 transfer-out and a $25 account termination fee (for a total possible cost of $50 simple case)These were the only normal expenses I expect to incur.

If you aren't trading much in your IRA (like you said) the speed (or even availability) of execution issue for Ameritrade doesn't really matter

When I did my search for IRA providers a few months ago, Ameritrade was cheapest by far. Of course, my active account I keep with Datek, which I'm quite happy with. Just not for IRA's

my .02,

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[[When I did my search for IRA providers a few months ago, Ameritrade was cheapest by far. Of
course, my active account I keep with Datek, which I'm quite happy with. Just not for IRA's]]

Thanks for your contribution, Rain...

Or...would that be Mr. God???

Regardless...thanks...
TMF Taxes
Roy
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suretrade claims no-fee ira, check it out, i am not sure.
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