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Greetings, Pete, and welcome. You asked:

<<My current employer has a SARSEP IRA retirement plan to which I contribute a measly $50 a month too, and once a year the company dumps a sizeable lump sum into it.

I am currently considering increasing my monthly contributions, but Im not sure if I should increase my payroll deductions into the SARSEP, or start a Roth IRA and keep my money seperate from my employers contributions.

I think that I am better off increasing my deductions into the SARSEP IRA since my money then gets the benefits of being included with the larger amounts of my company.

Any thoughts on this?>>

Around Fooldom we believe you should participate in any plan at least up to the level where you receive all the free money the employer provides through matches. Beyond that point, we say you should do an analysis on a tax-equivalent basis between the options available within the plan compared to any alternative you might consider. For an example on how to do that, see Step 4 on my 13 Steps to Foolish Retirement Planning which you can find at

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