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Of course the employer match is an advantage! But my message #15408 applies after contributing up to the matched amount.

I don't think you are foolish to contribute more than matched by your employer, but I don't know the details of your 401(k) plan. I contribute to my 403(b) and Roth IRA right up to their respective limits, and I don't get a cent of matching.

The usual recommendation (assuming decent 401(k) choices, retirement tax rate roughly same neighborhood as current working tax rate) is:

1. Contribute to the 401(k) at least up to the amount matched by your employer.

2. Contribute to the Roth IRA up to your legal limit. Not only can you withdraw your Roth IRA regular contributions at any time for any purpose, no tax nor penalties (though for investment purposes it is good to keep as much money invested as long as possible), but also since you can open a Roth IRA at just about any financial institution you wish, you have far more investment choices than in a typical 401(k). I often use the example that I have a great 403(b) provider but it is light on the small cap arena, so my Roth IRA is overweighted in small caps to help balance my overall portfolio.

3. If you still have money to invest for retirement, and if the expenses and returns in the 401(k) are reasonable in light of what other funds investing in similar investments are doing, contribute to the 401(k) up to your legal limit.

4. If you still have money to invest for retirement, taxable investments may make sense. Or it may make sense to pay down one's mortgage. Many people do some of both.

But as my previous message indicated, there can be tax considerations (and not mentioned: estate planning considerations, financial aid considerations) that one might want to do things in a different order than listed in #2-#4 above.
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