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Why not roll it into a traditional IRA, which most custodians don't charge a fee for?

Good question. Because this year I will be above the income limits for contributing directly to a ROTH IRA. Thus, I will make non-deductible TIRA contributions and then convert that immediately into a Roth, aka the backdoor Roth.

If I have deductible IRA monies (from rolling over the 401k into an IRA), upon conversion I would have to pay taxes on a prorated share of the deductible portion of the IRA, which would negate a lot of the benefits of doing the Roth conversion. However, by keeping my existing orphan 401k (or in this case, rolling it over into the solo 401k) it is not considered IRA money for the purposes of paying conversion tax on the deductible portion of a TIRA.

So one benefit of opening the solo 401k is that I'll be able to rollover my other, high-fee, 401k into it, while preserving my ability to make tax-free Roth conversions from non-deductible TIRA contributions.


P.S. It seems that both Vanguard and Fidelity's solo 401k's are fee-free.
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