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Both mine and my wife’s companys offer 401ks but they do not match.
I am aware of the tax shelter they provide . HOWEVER, I have chosen to opt out and invest into the portfolios that I have created which give me more room to invest as I please in the companies I want with no withdrawal penalties.My goal for these accounts is LONG TERM

Any thoughts????? are GREATLY APPRECIATED

If there's no matching, there's little advantage to a 401k over a regular IRA if you're able to put the same amount into either one. That may not be true because:
-The maximum amount you can put into an IRA is $6,000 ($7,000 if you’re >age 50) vs. $19,500 ($26,000 if you're >50) for the 401k,
-You intend to accumulate enough to send to the IRA every few months, and just can't get that much together, vs. the 401k money coming out of your check so you never miss it and don't have to "come up with it."

Also, if you invest in stocks and are fairly successful, you can minimize taxes each year by not selling or balancing gains against losses (although you can't do much about dividends). And, compared to a 401k or IRA, when you do cash out and spend the money, it will be taxed at the more attractive long term capital gains rates than the ordinary income tax rates of the 401k/IRA. Of course, the laws could change between now and your retirement and the lower cap gains rates could go away. PLUS, there's a rate better than the cap gains rate, and that's zero. Compare your after-tax strategy to the other two:
1. NO TAX ADVANTAGED ACCOUNT: No tax break now. Invest after-tax money in stocks, pay capital gains rates on the growth.
2. REGULAR IRA/401k: Tax break now (which should leave you with more money to invest). Invest pre-tax money in stocks, pay regular income taxes rates on the growth.
3. ROTH IRA/401k: No tax break now. Invest after-tax money in stocks, pay no taxes on the growth.

Clearly, #3 is better than #1, at least up to the Roth IRA limit. And even though the Roth rules could change, that's much less likely than losing the cap gains rate, or simply ALL rates going up across every bracket.

You can have your Roth IRA at Fidelity or Vanguard, and invest in nearly everything you'd otherwise be investing in outside of tax-advantaged accounts. (You usually can't invest in individual pieces of real estate or your small business or stuff like that in an IRA.)
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