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<<<I am putting 16%(max)in my 401K. I was told the next step would be to invest in a mutual fund. Would this be a IRA or just a regular mutual fund account? Some guidance, please. >>>

My short list (assuming debts/loans have been paid off). 401k to employer match max (if employer matches 5% I'd stop there, I doubt they match 16%, would do better cutting down to employer match and then starting IRA), Emergency fund (3-6 months of living expenses), Roth IRA (if you qualify, if not then Traditional), Regular brokerage account, payoff mortgage.

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