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May I ask why you suggest the IRA's before maxing out the 401k?

You may certainly ask. You're young. Not so young that I hate your youth, but young enough where I'm jealous and wish I had been thinking more about money at your age. Your youth is a huge advantage. You are most likely making less money now than you will make in 20, 30, 40 years. With your little tax deductions, you are probably in a lower tax bracket now than you'll ever be in the future.

This makes investigating through a Roth IRA extremely attractive. You contributions aren't tax-deductible but your tax liability will be lower because of your tax bracket compared to making these same contributions 10, 20, 40 years down the road. Best of all, you can take your contributions out any time you need the cash (I recommend this only as a last step), and upon reaching age 59 1/2, you can take distributions of both your contributions AND any earnings or gains tax free.

Yes, Tax Free. Imagine in your golden years being able to tell Uncle Sam thanks but no thanks, I gave during my youth!

With the 401k, you trade off getting a tax deduction now but your distributions in retirement are taxed as income, and while your income will probably go down once you stop taking a paycheck, continuing to pay taxes while drawing down your fixed income can be a real pain. Most people who are able go for a combination of the two, a Roth IRA and a traditional 401k. Some lucky people get to contribute to a Roth 401k. If you get that option, I recommend taking it.

Fuskie
Who notes also some 401k plans don't really have great investment choices, so while I would recommend contributing enough to get your free company matching contribution, in these cases you may not want to put any more into the 401k plan and instead look for more aggressive or less expensive self-directed options...
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