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Of course, if you're a typical academic living off a grant, being able to put money into a Roth is a pretty good achievement.

I've had a couple things working in my favor: I have no dependents, my stipend has been pretty generous by academic standards, and until recently I was living cheaply (too cheaply) in a moderately expensive area. That said, maxing my IRA contributions have been my highest financial priority (higher even than building an e-fund) for the last four tax years, even though I'm going to have to dip into 2008 earnings or past year savings to fully fund 2007.

That said, I'm 34, so I have some time yet to figure this out. The goal is to get a job where I'm eligible for tax-deferred retirement savings, soon.

Have you talked with what I still like to call "Personnel" (I believe ours call themselves Human Resources). It's possible there's some angle. There may also be a way you can do an IRA and a Roth, but I'm probably wrong. I think some other folk here actually know something.

I have not as I have a low opinion of administrative competence at my sponsoring institution based on past grant application and administration difficulties. The point is a bit moot anyway for 2007 as I overspent last year, implied in the above.
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