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For tax efficient options,
 stupid question,         
(never)
but is that simply opening an individual account with an Ameritrade or Etrade or is that going directly to a Vanguard?

A tax efficient investment is one that doesn't regularly throw off taxible income.
Example: indexed funds, ETFs have very little turnover (which produce capital gains
which get distributed and cause you to pay tax if not sheltered in a 401K etc account)
compared to managed funds.

A dividend fund may give you qualified dividends which get favored tax treatment, fairly
tax efficient.  Muni bond funds are very tax efficient.

Note that tax efficiency isn't everything, its just a dimension you ought to consider.
Within your 401K you don't care about this, indexed funds there are desireable for
their lower fees and (possibly) avoiding poor active management.

Consider a Roth IRA after you lock in that 401K match.  You needn't worry about
tax efficiency there (its sheltered) and if you satisfy the criteria you'll only pay  tax on
your contributions.
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