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If you are contributing the max into a 403B index fund,
can you also put $2000 pre tax into a regular IRA,
or is the 403B the limit that you can shelter in
any given year?
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The limit on the 403b is strictly for the 403b account and has no bearing on your contributions to an IRA.

Dodgeball
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Trystero asks:

<<If you are contributing the max into a 403B index fund, can you also put $2000 pre tax into a regular IRA, or is the 403B the limit that you can shelter in any given year? >>

Possibly, but the deductability of the contribution depends on your filing status and your adjusted gross income for the year. As a single filer participating in a 403b, you may deduct all of your 1999 contribution when your AGI is $31K or less, part between $31K and $41K, and nothing above $41K. The range for joint filers is $51K to $61K.
For details on allowable IRA contributions, see our IRA area at http://www.fool.com/Money/AllAboutIRAs/AllAboutIRAs.htm or my Foolish Retirement Plan Primer at http://www.fool.com/Retirement/Retirement.htm.
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