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Greetings, stuckerfool, and welcome.

<<She has a 401k with about $30,000 and her employer forces her to be in 1 or 2 out 6 fidelity funds. She has 50:50 into Spartan equity index and Blue Chip. My employer makes me use a Defined contrubution plan (401a) of which I have 100% in to Fidelity Contrafund.


1. Can we sock even more away in IRA's/Roth/ or a 403b?

2. If I put more away, how can i control it instead of just being in these funds? ie. self0directed IRA.>>

You don't mention how much you're already saving in your retirement plans nor do you talk about any kind of employer match to your contributions. In general and depending on the plan type (money purchase, profit sharing, etc.), in defined contribution plans you may deposit annually up to 25% of your pay or $30K, whichever is smaller. In a 401k, you are further limited to an absolute dollar ceiling of $10K this year. If you haven't reached your plan maximums, then certainly you can increase your contributions in the plans to achieve tax deductible savings. As to using a 403b plan, if your employer doesn't have it, you can't use it.

You and your spouse may always use an IRA of some type. Because both of you are active participants in a qualified retirement plan through your employers, a traditional IRA may or may not be deductible depending on your joint AGI. In 1998, you may deduct all of your contribution if AGI is less than $50K, part between an AGI of $50K and $60K, and none if AGI exceeds $60K. Nevertheless, you may still contribute up to $2K each to an IRA regardless of the deductibility thereof. Provided your joint AGI is below $150K, you both may also make a $2K non-deductible contribution to a Roth IRA.

Any broker can help you set up a self-directed IRA. After the money has been deposited therein, you may trade securities to your heart's content.


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