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You can also invest money in non-tax protected acccounts.

But..but..taxes! That's my money, dangit!

Seriously though, I'm trying to do what Ziggy29 and FoolNBlue were talking about. I really don't want to be an officer, but a retired CWO-4 or maybe a -5 wouldn't be bad. They still get to mess around with the fun stuff without having to explain to a colonel why two 18 year olds went out, got drunk, got caught half-naked by the local police, and yessir I understand this is my fault but they're good kids. (While keeping a straight face!)

I can't picture myself doing that.

I can picture myself living on half the salary of a senior warrant officer. It's not too far off from where I'm living right now. But I'd rather live on half that base salary, plus the interest on half my pay I'm saving right now. The fewer taxes I pay, the more that interest can amount to!

I'm thinking maxing out a traditional IRA with $8000 would make sense than using a Roth IRA if I'm going to start pulling money out in 20 years. It'll save me 15% on taxes now, which I can plug into other investments. Before I do that, I'm hoping to run the idea past the common sense detectors of Fools with a lot more experience than I have.
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