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I have hopefully a couple of easy to answer retirement questions.

First, I have a long way to go before retirement, but want to get started on the right foot. I recently opened a Roth IRA and am considering a good index fund for it. Secondly, I am considering maxing out my employers 401k plan. However, it does not provide for any matching funds. Knowing that their is still a tax benefit that I would get, would I be better off inside the 401K with its plan limitations and fee's, or outside of the 401K without those problems, and the chance to achieve better returns with the capital gains to pay later. Also this 401K is provided through the Principal Financial Group. My next question is has anyone heard of this company and/or know anything about them? I have also heard that when I leave the company I am employed at I will have the option to transfer any 401K funds into a rollover IRA. If I decide to take this option does that count as my contribution towards my personal retirement account for the year? I know that the Roth is capped at $2000.00 per year, but can I roll over this money and still make that yearly $2000.00 contribution to the Roth. Lastly, I have heard that you cannot go straight from a 401K (pretax) to a Roth (post tax), but must use a rollover IRA as an in between step. Is this a wise idea to go through this whole process in general or to stop somewhere in between (ie. Leaving the money in the rollover IRA or other)? My understanding on this subject is that it will probably have a lot to do with the amount of time before retirement at that point, taxes, and fee's? Any help with these questions would be beneficial as I am attempting to learn as much as possible, while I am still young. Also, any options that I have not considered or are not taking advantage of that are available to all please let me know. Thanks in advance for the help.
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