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What is the difference between a Roth and Traditional IRA?

The difference between Roth and Traditional IRAs is the timing of their tax advantages. Through a Roth IRA, you contribute after-tax dollars, money increases tax-free, and you can generally make tax and penalty-free withdrawals after age 59½. With a Traditional IRA, you contribute pre- or after-tax dollars, your money grows tax-deferred, and withdrawals are taxed as current income after age 59½.

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