If the idea of tax free retirement income appeals to you, you should consider Roth accounts. With a Roth account, you put money in after tax, it grows tax free and you take it out tax free. Traditional accounts (IRAs, 401Ks, 403bs, 457s without the Roth name attached to them) are the opposite. You get a tax deduction now when tax rates are low, the money grows tax deferred and when you take it out you are taxed at whatever the government decides tax rates will be, probably much higher. We are near historic low tax rates now and federal spending will go way up as Baby Boomers age and collect on Social Security and Medicare and Medicaid. Where will they get the money to pay for these programs?