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If you put money in a Roth IRA, you can take out up to the amount of your contributions at any time without penalty.

If you put money in a Traditional IRA, there are a few circumstances that let you take money out without penalty. One of those is buying your first home.

So you do not *need* to use both a 401(k) and an IRA, but doing so gives you more flexibility. If you need to use the money, it's available. If you don't need it (what if your rich uncle gives you his mansion so you don't need to buy a house) it's earning interest for you tax-deferred.
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