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>>Which is best first? The Roth while we're eligible, or the traditional?

If you can max out either IRA, the Roth is better. If you can't (ie, you're in a 10% tax bracket so can contribute $1000 to the TIRA or $900 to the Roth) it doesn't matter, since the better choice depends on your (non-predictable) retirement tax rate. You might go with the Roth just to diversify, if you're pretty sure you won't be eligible for it in the future. Go with the TIRA if you think you might be tempted to withdraw your principal from the Roth at some future date.

>>Problem is, we can't afford to open both right now.

If you can afford one, you can afford both, since the combined maximum is the same as the maximum for a single type.


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