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cacsc3,you asked:

<< So what if the 7% contribution from my employer is not contigent upon my also contributing money to the 403b? >>

If this is so, then the Emergency Fund should come first.

<< Should maxing out a Roth, first, be a priority and then continuing contributions to my 403b? >>

After the Emergency Fund has been fully funded, then I feel funding the Roth IRA would an excellent next step.

<< I am in the process of grad school and am very secure my income later will far exceed my current income. Therefore, paying the taxes now may be a better way to go, si? >>

Paying taxes now would not be the ONLY advantage (assuming you're looking at the tax free withdrawals at retirement). For example, the Roth also allows you asses to the principle without tax or penalty should a situation occur where the Emergency Fund may not be enough. Also, there are tax advantages for your heirs over the traditional IRA's and qualified plans.

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