As quick background, I'm an expat that has been living abroad for the past 8+ years, and have been and continue to be ineligible to contribute to an old Roth 401k that I still possess with my previous US employer. I now want to start contributing again, so plan on rolling that over to a new Self Directed Roth IRA as a starting point.
I have perused quite a few articles and answers on this site regarding Backdoor Roth IRAs, but remain unsure of what the best possible execution of this strategy is in practice.
My understanding is that every year, I have to create a new Traditional IRA account, then convert it (which really just means closing it and transferring the balance to my existing Roth IRA, please confirm)
Main question: what's the EASIEST way to actually execute this strategy every year (i.e. in terms of actual details, etc.) Especially being sure to minimize the gap between contribution and conversion. a) I would love for this process to be "automated" or at least as frictionless as possible with minimal fees, e.g. if somehow there's a provider that handles this directly (I tell them the yearly amount and destination Roth IRA account and they handle the rest) or even automating it myself via providers that give access to APIs (guessing this is highly unlikely)
Spousal IRA Contribution: My wife does not work, can I also contribute up to the limit (currently $6K) into another Traditional IRA account under her name and also convert it to the same Roth IRA I already have in the same year? i.e. effectively contribute $12K total per year without any issues. https://www.investopedia.com/ask/answers/160.asp
5 year rule: Another confirmation, each of the converted Roth IRA contributions has its own five-year clock on it, right? So one can still pull out money tax and penalty free on "other" contributions that are already 5 years old, i.e. does not affect the entire account.
Any other pitfalls to be wary of, or is this even worth doing?