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Thank you much - that's what I needed to hear! I knew the fool wouldn't get something like that wrong. What confused me was a description about a roth ira by a credit union, check it out at http://www.ibmcu.com/sav&chek.htm

it reads:

"Contributions are not tax deductible; however, earnings are tax-deferred and qualified withdrawals are tax-free"

Tax-deferred really through me for a loop. The fool explains it this way, which is the correct way:

"the Roth offers tax-exempt rather than simply tax-deferred savings. One word makes a big difference. While both allow you to accumulate wealth without paying taxes along the way on your profits, the regular IRA ultimately sticks you with a tax bill for those profits (plus your initial contributions). The Roth doesn't. As long as you follow the rules, you never pay taxes on your gains."
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