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My lovely wife will be eligible for her employer's 401(k) plan shortly, so I am trying to decide whether she should participate or not. It may be better for us to invest for retirement with after-tax funds instead. I am trying to build a spreadsheet to quantify the options, but I wonder if there is a "calculator" on the Web that I can use to help me decide?

Here are some details, if you Fools have any thoughts on the matter:
There is no employer match.
We are in the 31% tax bracket, close to 36%, and probably will be at retirement as well (we already have substantial retirement savings).
The funds offered DON'T include a S&P 500 Index.
She is 27 years old.

Our tax bracket makes the taxation of 401(k) funds as ordinary income at retirement very unattractive, when compared to the LT capital gains tax rate (I know, who can say what rates will be in 30+ years?). OTOH, at 31% of $10K, we will have an extra $3100/year to invest and grow if we use the 401(k). Of course, we will both fund Roth IRA's for as long as we are eligible.

Thanks for your input!
Patrick

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