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Author: pauleckler Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 75523  
Subject: Re: Beginning Retirement Investing Date: 2/18/2013 2:08 PM
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For the long term, the very best thing you can do for yourself and your retirement is set-up a regular saving/investing plan and stick with it. For a young person, the focus should be equities. Mutual funds, ETFs, or individual stocks can all get you there. Mutual funds and ETFs let the pros do the stock picking; individual stocks can give better returns, but take more time to manage. Pick a mix that fits your style, time available and interests.

401K and Roth IRA are an excellent place to begin. Most people have many wants to fill when they begin their careers. That makes large savings commitment difficult. But make a beginning and keep increasing your savings rate as your income increases. Ie when you get a raise or bonus, pay yourself first. Make sure part of it goes into savings.

Increasing your 401K contribution to the max can be a short or intermediate term goal. Maxing the pretax portion is stage one; maxing the after tax portion can be quite a leap.

As to how much to save, you may very well have a home to buy, children to educate, and other expenses to fund in the future. Those can be difficult to foresee this early. Keep in mind, Motley Fool wants you to accumulates investments worth 25 years of gross income to consider early retirement. Experiment with a spreadsheet program to see what it takes to get there in say 20 to 30 years. Let that be your guide.

Once your mortgage is paid off and your children are on their own, it gets easier to fund your retirement plan with larger savings amounts. But fund your plan as best you can and keep working at it. This gives you more options as time goes on.

You seem to be off to a good start.

Fool on!!
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