No. of Recommendations: 1
...While I know the "smart" thing to do in the long run is completely exhaust all tax friendly investment vehicles, part of me doesn't want nearly all of our money tied up in retirement accounts that we can't touch without penalty until we're 60....

Not true;

In addition you can always withdrawal your Roth contributions without a penalty or taxes.

Check out the rest of that site for lots of good info.

You should try to eventually get six months income in your emergency fund. In addition you should have a car fund so that you can buy your future cars for cash.

If you are planning to buy a bigger house in a few years, then the 5% that you can get in things like CD’s actually looks pretty good right now for these funds. If things get ugly, being able to make an offer with a large down payment might allow you get a great deal.

Contentiously choosing to live below your means is the most important thing right now. In addition to allowing you to save more, it is almost guaranteed that you life and career will have to unexpected twists over the next 70 years or so. These are not all bad, I’ve know people who;
1) After years of trying, and expensive treatments, finally gave birth, to quadruplets.
2) Left a secure job to contract all over the world.
3) Relocated with a pay cut for a better quality of life.

Not having gotten used to depending on all their income allowed them to do these instead of being a wage slave.

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