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I am a 25 yr old getting ready to start my retirement planning. Right now, I am on pace to finish paying off my credit card debt by the mid point (say June/July) of next year, whereas I plan on moving the money currently going to pay the CCs off into retirement savings. Looking ahead, I plan on maxing out a Roth IRA next year, and assuming I qualify (I plan on changing jobs next year), dropping as much as I can in a 401k. But my question is as follows; Would it be to my advantage to put off a credit card payment or two (~$1000) to open my first IRA for tax year 1999?

The way I see it I am paying a minimum fee (the interest on the 99 IRA money) to get the extra money into a tax free account (since I plan on maxing out the IRA next year, and the 401k is uncertain). This minimum fee I should be able to recoup with the tax free growth over time. I guess this is the point that I want opinions on; is the above assumption a good one?

The second question I have is if I should make an IRA contribution for tax year 1999, should I make it at the traditional market low for the year in November/December, or wait until the latest possible date in April, when the market is in a traditional upswing?

I would appreciate some Foolish perspective,
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