Author Topic: Yet another Roth versus Pre-Tax Scenario  (Read 424 times)


  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 445
Yet another Roth versus Pre-Tax Scenario
« on: December 27, 2019, 07:48:22 AM »
I realize the horse is well and truly dead on this issue, but I'm using some downtime over the holidays to reevaluate our investments.  Indulge me and let me run this by y'all...

I have the option to categorize my personal 403b contributions as either pre-tax or Roth.  So far at this current employer I've been categorizing them as Roth.  I'm just wondering if it still makes sense under the circumstances below.

- Married, filing jointly
- Both 36 y/o
- 2019 household income about $178k
- Likely taking the standard tax deduction this year
- Not aiming for early retirement, so no plan to access these investments for 30+ years
- My wife has a defined benefit pension that will pay more than her current salary in real dollars starting at age 57, so our options to engineer our income stream approaching or in retirement are going to be limited.
- My employer's contributions are pre-tax, so a significant portion of my 403b will be pre-tax regardless of my elections.

As much as it would be nice to drive down our tax bill in the short term and see growth on paper, I'm thinking it still makes sense to stay with the Roth categorization for my contributions as long as we can. 

Does anyone think I'm way off here?
« Last Edit: December 27, 2019, 07:51:01 AM by caleb »


  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3480
Re: Yet another Roth versus Pre-Tax Scenario
« Reply #1 on: December 27, 2019, 08:16:42 AM »
The only two things that matter are current marginal tax rate and expected tax rate in retirement. Based on current projections how much taxable income do you think you will have in retirement?