No. of Recommendations: 1
First, thank you for your device to our country.

You sound very aggressive with your career ambitions and I am guessing your investing philosophy follows a similar path. As a member of the armed forces, you have access to the federal TSP program, so I recommend looking into that as a post 401k vehicle.

As for retiring early, good luck epwith that. A lot of young professionals have dreams of rapid wealth accumulation so they can enjoy their latter days free of financial stress. The realities of life often intercede as career paths change, families grow, health feels the effects of age, etc.

But one factor often overlooked is that a stress free retirement requires significant advanced planning, so you are Foolish to be thinking about this now. There are two key factors to consider when planning to retire early. First, you have less time to save off earned income and more time living off fixed income. This often requires one to live a more frugal lifestyle in order to set aside more savings for future benefit, as well tempering dreams of a lengthy extravagant retirement.

My recommendation would be to contribute to every tax advantaged vehicle available to you with an eye on both long term and longer term savings. Whether it be a TSP, 401k, or Traditional IRA, these investments can target life from 59 1/2 on. With a Roth IRA or a retail (non tax-adantaged) account, you can have assts accessible before that age - with a Roth, you can withdraw your post tax contributions before retirement without penalty, although doing so lessens your savings investment potential.

Many who dream to retire early plan on starting taking their social security payments early, but I would recommend waiting until you can take the maximum distribution. You will also need to spend time planning what your life will hep like in retirement, what you will do, where you will live, how much it will cost, so that you will have a rational savings target for the early, mid-life and late stages of retirement.

As savings realities and retirement lifestyle plans change, the investment strategies must also change and adapt, so annual reviews and revisions are in order. In summary, retiring early is ambitious and requires a lot of work. Most of us do not experience the circumstances in our lives that enable our future retirement to be the realization of our dreams, but the earlier and more effort and resources you put into the planning, the better the chances you can achieve your goal.

Who wishes you luck and also encourages you to check out the Military Fools board here on TMF to talk with others who seek to earn the maximum benefit from their careers of sevice...
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