(1) Save as much as possible as early as possible, paying as little as possible in taxes and fees.I'll disagree with this as stated.You don't care about taxes and fees.You care about after-tax, after-fee results, in the form of retirement income.Now, USUALLY this is achieved by minimizing current taxes and fees - but not always. As one example, if you are a buy-and-hold-forever investor with a couple of decades until expected retirement - and the expected long-term capital gains tax rate in your retirement years is lower than your regular-income tax rate today - you are better off investing an after-tax amount in an ordinary taxable account, than the equivalent pre-tax amount in a 401K or conventional IRA. (For withdrawals that will be after age 59.5, a Roth IRA is better yet - but for withdrawals before that age, it's decidedly worse: you'll pay ordinary tax rates at both ends, plus possibly be stuck with penalties.)
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