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Perhaps I should have used the subject header: Tax deferred vs. Taxed investments. I currently invest through an annuity plan at work (403b, pre-tax, my employer does not match funds). I am not crazy about the range of funds offered by the company I deal with, but I have few options. The company I deal with appears to be the best option I have in terms of a 403b.
Assuming I am in the tax bracket of someone with an adjusted federal income around 55 grand per year and I have $3600 to invest per year (for the purposes of this example and because my wife's retirment options are not the same as mine), would I be better off taking the money post tax and putting $3000 into a Roth IRA (12 monthly payments of equal amounts on 1st of month) and putting the other $600 into a stock index fund (let's use the Vanguard S&P 500 index fund), or continuing to invest in the annuity pre-tax? In the annuity, I am invested in a stock index fund, a mid-cap index fund and a conservative bond fund. When I take money out of the annuity at retirement, I will have to pay 1.5% of it to the company.
I can't predict what the annuity earnings will be, but I do not believe they will match the s&p 500 index over the coming years based on past performance (and the fee). For purposes of this, let's be optimistic and say the return will be 8% before fees.
Let's base this on 23 years until retirement.
By retirement, I may be in a higher tax bracket based on investments, but I may not, as I don't expect my salary to grow that much (I am a teacher). I won't jump up more than one bracket.

I'm just going to admit here that I don't have the accounting savvy to figure this out on my own, at least not with complete confidence. If anyone can help me compare the two options, I would be very appreciative!
This is not my only retirement savings/investment, but this will help me decide if this pre-tax savings is really saving me money.
Thanks for your help!
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