No. of Recommendations: 0
1) Yes. You need to keep your costs low and Vanguard has very low costs.
3) All at once, several studies have shown that the lump sum is better on most of the time. If you were looking at a larger amount then it might be safer to dollar cost average but for three thousand dollars it isn't worth the hassle and the risk of doing something wrong like over contributing to the 401k.
4) I'm not exactly sure just what you mean by 'general investing accounts'. If this is just referring to your investments outside of you retirement accounts the Vanguard is a very good choice because of their low costs. Other fund families will have similar volatility at high costs. For purchasing stocks directly you can do better with a discount brokerage than with Vanguard.

Also, I would appreciate any thoughts/suggestions about our retirement plans.
My gut feel is that you are making investing in mutual funds a lot more complex than it needs to be by having too many mutual funds that very likely over lap investments. A very simple but adequate choice of retirement funds might look at doing something like;
1) The Vanguard total market index fund(or S&P500+midcap+smallcap index funds)
2) A Bond index fund
3) An international index fund.(maybe not even this, the international companies in the index fund will give you some international exposure)

Right now I don't particularly like bonds because interest rates are still near generational lows and any long or mid term bonds will really get clobbered if interest rates go up. It might be a good idea to underweight any longer term bond investments right now. You need to understand that bonds are not necessarily a safe investment, they just often go in the opposite direction as the stock market so they tend to take some of the volatility out of a portfolio. Right now we are is a really weird situation and if interest rates go up then the bonds will obliviously go down but I suspect that the stock market will also be likely to go down.

On the money that is being invested in CD's in a Roth. You should consider paying down the mortgage instead since your mortgage is likely at a higher rate than you are getting on the CDs, even after tax considerations. You should be able to withdrawal your original contributions to the Roth if you want to.

Your Efund may be a bit high if you are just putting it in a money market account since it is close to a years after-tax income. You might want to consider putting some of it into iBonds which have some restrictions that you need to understand but have the tax advantages especially if you ever have kids and they are used for college. There was some discussion of iBonds here within the last few weeks that you might want to look back at.

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