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putnid supposes: "Well, I guess it's water over the dam now, but you lost BIG by not investing the bulk of your funds in tax-sheltered vehicles such as IRA's and 401(k)'s when you had the chance. I maxed out all available tax-sheltered options before I invested dollar 1 in a taxable account. The bulk of my investments have yet to be taxed."

I retireed 10 years ago (1999).

My company started a 401K about 1991 when the tax laws changed on ESOPs. Before that, the company would provide 5% of income or so to a stock ESOP plan. That was a decent deal.

I had a private IRA....but I could only put $2000 a year it in....and they only started half way through my working career in the late 70s I believe.

In any event, I maxed out my 40iA once it started. But I didn't have that many years (about 8) to contribute to it....and 10 years of contributing the max to IRAs...and I think it was about $1000 back in the 70s.....didn't amount to a hill of beans.

17% of my assets are in tax deferred plans. Don't think they won't escapte taxation, and probably at 33 or 39% if Obama gets elected. He'll figure out a way to tax them at high rates, or at the rate the contributed the money when you contributed it (while you are working and in a high tax bracket). Then you might not be laughing for too long....

On the other hand, for the past few years, I've been paying only 15% rate on dividends and any cap gains in the non-tax deferred account, and letting the tax deferred one grown along.

I would have socked money away in ROTH IRA, but it doesn't pay to convert at this point.

You'll be paying full income tax rates on any dividends you are accumulationg along the way in your 401K or IRA when you go to take them out, and also full boat tax on any cap gains.

If div tax rates and cap gains rates are lower than your marginal tax rate when you take out your savings......I'll guess I just smile and let you pay more taxes!

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