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I'm a novice investor hoping to retire at 55 (20yrs), and have realized I've got to get more aggressive re. my investments to meet this goal.

Several questions:

(1) In setting up an investment account with a discount broker, what options do I have on setting the account up on a pretax (ie.. 401K, or IRA) basis?

(2) What's the Foolish thoughts on 401K's? Max them out due to the tax saving, inspite of limited investment options, or other thoughts....?

(3) My wife and I are involved in several charitable organizations, and on 'retiring' would like to increase involvement in our own charitable activities. My ideal is to set up our own non-profit, charitable organization now; give money to that organization; invest the given money; on retirement begin drawing a 'salary/expenses' from the organization for charitable activities. Has anyone done anything like this? It seems like there should be some tax advantages to this. This would be 'above board', ie.. we really would be 'earning' any salary drawn, or using expenses for charitable activities.
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