When it comes to retirement planning, there are a number of different choices. Two of the most commonly used are tax-deferred retirement plans - such as IRAs or 401(k)s - and cash-value life insurance.

A tax-deferred plan offers a tax deduction for contributions, and then the money grows tax-deferred. Cash-value life insurance can also be thrown into the mix as a potential retirement planning vehicle. There is no tax deduction for money contributed to a life policy, but if withdrawals are structured as loans, money can be taken out tax-free. With these options, it is helpful to compare them and see the advantages and disadvantages of each.

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