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To the OP: thanks for sharing your story. May I ask what expenses exceeded your projections? I project things like extra travel costs and extra hobby money, but it's hard to know if it will be enough.

To Foolyap: You asked: I believe we could still make non-tax-deductible contributions to a regular IRA? Anyone have any thoughts on whether that's worth doing?

This is often discussed on the Retirement Investing board, if you want to do a search. I did some research and decided it was not worth it for me - I'd rather invest in low-cost, low-turnover mutual funds in my taxable account instead. But some people decide the other way.

But, with my plan to retire at 52 (or earlier), I'll have at least 7 years of "gap" needed before I would want to touch my IRAs, so I want to have a pretty sizeable taxable account.


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