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It's so easy to get confused by all the retirement planning option names and terminology, something that helps keep many a retirement planner in business. You can simplify things if you remember precisely what a retirement plan is. Basically, you can think about a retirement plan tax-proof "container" in which you can put your investments and thus avoid taxes. Usually the money going into the container is not taxed, and its contents hopefully grow over time. No taxes are taken out until you start to remove money from the container.