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<it's important to know/predict what your income tax rate will be at retirement vs. what it is currently. What I can't figure out is how to predict my future tax rate...>

As others have stated, you'll need a pretty stong crystal ball in order to see the future. And simply seeing your future income is easy when compared to trying to figure out what the tax code might look like in 10, 20 or more years. So all you can really do is take your best shot and follow the suggestions given by preceeding posts.

One thing to keep in mind: Conventional wisdom is that you'll likely be in LOWER tax bracket when you retire (everything else being equal, of course). But many studies have shown that most people are in the SAME bracket at retirement. Why? Because most people are in the 27% bracket now. That that bracket is SO BROAD that it's likely that most people will remain there after retirement.

This little factoid means absolutely nothing when trying to look into the future...but it's something that you might want to keep in the back of your mind.

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