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I contribute to the UC 403b pretax equity (indexed) fund. The university does not match any of my contributions (There is a separate Pension plan). I am at least 20 years from retirement age.

1- Under what circumstances does it make better sense to do a Roth IRA?

2- We have some home improvement projects we'd like to do in the next 1-5 years. We can borrow from the 403b, paying ~7-8% interest (most of this back to our account). The payments are with after-tax dollars, so this money would ultimately get taxed twice once it is finally distributed. Does this have any advantages compared to
a) Building up a war chest with after tax dollars? (unfortunately, the chest doesn't have much in it right now so we may be forced to the 403b-loan route, or b, c below for some of our more pressing projects)
b) getting a home equity loan?
c) getting a regular bank loan?

3- We have young children we would like to put thru college starting in ~14 years. What's a good way to start saving? Roth? 403B loan? other?


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