Harris, I think it depends on several factors. First, I recommend having a well established emergency fund that will be enough to cover several months living expenses. This will help you cover any unexpected expenses and avoid taking out additional debt. Next consider other short/medium term goals. For example, are you saving to buy a house, do you need to replace your car in the next two or three years, etc. Finally, consider the interest rates of your student loans and what you may be able to earn in an IRA and decide which option is best for your needs. Investing for retirement now could be a huge benefit for you and your wife when you reach retirement age, but eliminating debt increases cash flow and gives you peace of mind. Both options are solid. Best of luck.
Borrowing could be a key element in this method. Say you borrow $200,000 and put in $50,000 of your own to buy a property for $250,000. Then you develop the property and sell it for $400,000. The property has increased in value by 60% but your $50,000 has now grown fourfold to $200,000. You have to select the right properties in the right areas and develop them wisely.