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Greetings, Mplkear, and welcome. You wrote:

<<The employer I work for is saying that in the first of the year they will start matching a portion of our contribution to our 457 plan. In the plan I invest in a S&P 500 index fund. In my IRA I invest in stocks. I figure if I were to retire early, say at 50, then I could tap into my deferred comp and not touch my IRA until 59 1/2. Make sense?>>

Yes, it does up to a point. Remember that when you retire you must take your 457 plan money, and any distribution will be taxed in full at ordinary rates in the year it is received. Some 457 plans will allow distributions in installments over a period of years, typically from 2 to 15 years. Others do not. In the latter case, all the money will be paid out and taxed in one year, and that can be a significant tax bite. If your 457 plan is one of those that require a single distribution, then you'll have to see if what's left after taxes will last you until you reach age 59 1/2. Other than that issue, you have a very reasonable approach to an early retirement.

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