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Subject:  Re: Roth vs Taxable Account Date:  8/17/2011  8:33 AM
Author:  aj485 Number:  69431 of 90439

My thought was, why would I want to keep new investments in a NON-tax-deferred account (a regular brokerage account) instead of putting them into a Roth. Obviously, there are limits on how much one can contribute to a Roth, but within those parameters, is there ANY objection to using the Roth?

As you mention, a Roth is limited to only $5k/$6k a year per person, so if you have morethan that to invest, you would want to put money someplace else.

Other than that, it depends on what your goals for the money are.

If you believe that before age 59 1/2 there will be a need for more than you contributed, it would be better to put into a taxable account.

If you have a desire to use the dividends for current income, it would be better to invest in a taxable account.

If you are saving the money solely for use after 59 1/2 (presumably retirement) then a Roth is probably a better option.

So, the question for you is - what goal(s) do you have for the money? Is it for retirement or something else?

I've heard often that a mix of trad/roth/outside is the way to go. I don't have anything in this last third, other than too much cash...

Do you want to use some of this money towards your retirement? Or do you have other goals for it? Especially for goals over then next 3 - 5 years (emergency fund, downpayment, remodeling, new car, etc. as applicable), leaving the money in cash is probably a reasonable thing to do. If the goals are longer term, like retirement, putting the money to work in investments is a reasonable thing to do.

So, again - the question is - what do you want to use the money for, and when? For goals that will wait until after you are 59 1/2, putting money into a Roth, up to the maximums allowed, is probably the most advantageous, under current tax laws. For goals that will occur prior to age 59 1/2, or the amount you want to invest for terms longer than 3 - 5 years is higher than the max allowed for a Roth, investing in a taxable account is probably better than holding in cash.

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