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Then there is also the matter of estate planning on which, after my demise, it will be a lot easier for my heir to access his inheritance if it is in a cash acccount rather than tied up in a 401k or IRA.

OK, we're at the beginning of what may be a long process, but stick with it. For one thing, we have to disabuse you of the above "knowledge," which couldn't be further from the truth. As long as someone makes sure he knows what a "medallion signature guarantee" is (hint--his bank knows) it's no harder to get his inheritance out of a retirement account than it is from a cash account. Plus, if it's a Roth, he could wind up getting some of the income tax free and extended for many years.

Rolling the funds into a Roth may be an option, but I believe that I would then have to wait 5 years to withdraw any money from it.
You believe incorrectly. See Chapter 2 of Publication 590.

This is sounding suspiciously like DIY estate planning, which is something that I argue against most vigorously regardless of circumstances. You could take the time to learn the raft of knowledge you currently lack, or you could pay someone who already knows it to give you advice. I'd recommend the latter.

Rule Your Retirement Home Fool
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