It can feel like you’d have to make a crapshoot guess at what tax-bracket you’ll be in when you’re at retirement age to know if you will benefit from Roth. I’ll tell you...it kinda is.
For some people, the meticulous planning can be a real winning play. For others, some hands are best played to hedge their bets.
Pay your taxes up front with these style contributions, but your earnings grow tax free. Additionally, you will not be forced (by the IRS) to start taking money out at age 70.5 if you are living comfortably and don’t want to take your money out yet.
Save on a pretax basis to invest your dollar without paying taxes (for now). The downside is when you take your money out you will get hit with those taxes or at age 70.5 the IRS will start forcing you take Required Minimum Distributions.
A case for both
No one knows what taxes will be like in 30 years, so there is something to be said for maybe even diversifying the way you contribute. If your employer offers both, why not save some in Roth 401k and some in Traditional 401k to hedge your bets. You still have the same total savings limits for the year for total annual contributions, but you could split it up half and half (or something in between).