NEW YORK (Money magazine) -- Q: My company stopped its 401(k) match during the downturn. Should I put money into a Roth IRA instead? I'm 41. -- D.R. Westlake, Ohio
A: Keep putting money into your 401(k).
Remember that even without an employer match, the plan lets you sock away lots of pretax dollars (up to $16,500 this year) that grow tax-deferred -- a terrific deal. Because your contributions are automatically withdrawn from your paycheck, 401(k) plans make saving a no-brainer.
"Sometimes people intend to make Roth IRA contributions but are not consistent with it, and they end up saving less," says Jean Keener, a financial adviser in Keller, Texas. And don't forget that your employer might restore the match someday.
However, it's a good idea to put money into a Roth as well, says Warren Ward, a financial adviser in Columbus, Ind.
Your Roth contributions (you can put in up to $5,000 this year) are made with after-tax money.
You pay no taxes on the earnings or withdrawals after age 59½. If your tax rate rises down the road, a Roth will generally work out to a better deal than a 401(k).
Since you're only 41, it's hard to predict what your tax rate might be by the time you retire.
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