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You're just asking yourself if the tax savings today is worth more than the future growth you can get on a $2K contribution to a Roth. So pick your compounding period, rate of return and rate of inflation, and then solve for the present value of the future tax-free growth.

So, let me see if I have my math right...assuming 10% return over 40 years for $2K, the tax free gain should be $88,519 which is equivalent to $22,357 in today's money adjusted for 3.5% inflation. With 20% capital gains tax savings (40% short term - 20% long term), I would need a gain of $111,785 today to break even?

This figure, even if just a ball park number, seems a bit high...

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