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If that's true, isn't the amount too low to matter?

A few extra thousand bucks can help a lot with liquidity. And since my downpayment is about $10K, it can help with the purchase too.

lead me to think the 403(b) is not being maxed

It is.

Any thoughts, corrections?

My thought is that my retirement is not my first investment priority after the 403b is maxed out, unless it provides an immediate tax benefit (such as, e.g., a fat retirement savings credit that someone with an AGI below $30K can get). I am ready to pay 5% in cap gain tax once in a while just for the sake of liquidity. Again, supposing I take out 10K from the IRA penalty-free, I can then put $4000 in my Roth and another $4000 in my wife's Roth, all in just one year. I probably wouldn't do it otherwise. But that way I have effectively done a conversion from traditional to Roth without invoking the 5-year rule for conversions. I am thus getting an option that I wouldn't otherwise have, and I also get an extra liquidity cushion (the Roth contributions will remain fully liquid).

Kirill
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