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    Comparison of the effectiveness of a Roth v. Traditional Retirement Plan
    Today's marginal tax rate: (Federal plus state) Marginal tax rate at retirement
    Expected Investment Earnings
    Expected earnings at retirement
    Annual Contributions
    # years till retirement
    Here's the comparison assuming you would invest the same amount in one choice or the other:
    Traditional
    Roth
    Today's marginal tax rate:
    0.0%
    (Federal plus state)
    Annual Contributions
    Total amount saved for retirement
    Annual amount available for spending
    (assuming you don't want to
    spend down your principal)
    Marginal tax rate at retirement
    0.0%
    Annual amount available for spending
    Now assume you're going to contribute "net-of-tax" dollars.  
    IE: Watch what happens when you maximize your 401k based on tax savings earned immediately.
    Traditional
    Roth
    Today's marginal tax rate:
    0.0%
    (Federal plus state)
    Annual Contributions - Tax effected*
    Total amount saved for retirement
    Annual amount available for spending
    (assuming you don't want to
    spend down your principal)
    Marginal tax rate at retirement
    0.0%
    Annual amount available for spending
    (net of tax)
    * Since a traditional retirement vehicle is deductible now; you are able to
    contribute more. This tool assumes you will maximize the amount you
    can contribute based on current tax savings.
    IE: in Traditional 401k contributions
    will lower your net pay by only
    based on the current assumptions.
    When choosing between Roth and Traditional, the primary factors are:
    What will your tax rate be when you retire?
    What is your tax rate right now?