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I am a 20 year old college student. I plan to retire well before age 59 1/2 and I would like to know if an IRA could have any place in my portfolio. The main question is "Is the benefit of having earnings accumulate tax-deferred greater than the cost of the 10% penalty for early withdrawal over say a 20 to 25 year period?". I already have some savings and investments, but I had never considered IRAs because I always planned on retiring early. If anyone has an answer for me I would appreciate it greatly. I am familiar with the other aspects of investing that Fools promote-index funds, Foolish Four, small cap stocks, and shorts, and their allocation within a portfolio, I seek only information about the appropriateness of IRAs or other tax deferred investment vehicles for my situation.
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