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The Short Answer

Deciding on Retirement-Account Type Requires Crystal Ball

There are factors aplenty to consider when choosing between a Roth IRA or 401(k) and a traditional IRA or 401(k).

Note: This article is part of Morningstar's November 2013 Investor Starter Kit special report. An earlier version of this article appeared Feb. 15, 2012.

Question: I'm trying to decide between contributing to a Traditional 401(k) or a Roth 401(k) at work. I know that the main difference between the two is whether I pay taxes on the money now or later, but how do I decide which is best for me?