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How To Think About WHERE To Put Your Retirement Money

Retirement accounts are a mess of acronyms, numbers, and letters (thanks IRS!) Here is a quickie cheat sheet on how you might think about which accounts to put your retirement savings into.


Please note that this is not to be considered individual tax, legal, or investment advice (since I don't know your specific situation!).


Here is the mental flow we typically go through with clients who are W2 employees and trying to decide where they might put their retirement savings.


1. Roth 401k/403b if available to you - up to the annual limit.

2. Regular 401k/403b, if available to you, up to amount of employer match (free money is the best return you could get!).

3. Roth IRAs, up to the annual limit, if you are under the income limits and allowed to contribute.

4. The rest of your regular 401k/403b, up to the annual limit.

5. IRAs, up to the annual limit, for you and your spouse.


What if you still have retirement money left to invest and have already maxed out the limits on all of the above that are available to you and your spouse? The next place to put you money would be taxable brokerage accounts, where contributions are unlimited.


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