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I hate to state the obvious, but your 457 plan *IS* for retirement - which is a long way away no matter how you figure it. Since you are 38, the value of the tax benefits can be huge.

The way I look at it is, figure out how much you will need for retirement, and fund for that (using the available 457 plan, IRAs and even after tax savings through your brokerage account), and keep you eye on that goal. Anything else can be used for other purposes.

I wish I knew what I know now (as a 59 year old) when I was your age....
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