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My gut suggests she's better with a Roth that she could continue for 30 years to net $400K tax free at that point.

I hope she can't continue the Roth for 30 years because she ends up above the maximum income to contribute which is why it's even better for her to do it now. If she's qualified to do it for 2003 and will have no matching and can manage the maximum, she should go for it. Then max it for 2004 and then start the 401K when matching will kick in(Sept '04 ?).

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