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How long do you anticipate being with this employer? Will the administrative costs increase every year? If the numbers of participants increase/decrease, will the administrative costs be adjusted accordingly? Withdrawals will be taxed at your current income rate, (unless Congress changes that program). On the other hand, if you invest $13,000.00 on your own, you would have direct control over the type of investments you wish to choose and then be able to take advantage of the capital gain and loss rates (again, unless Congress changes that program). Crunch some numbers and create different senarios and see which is better for you. Food for thought.

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