I remember reading a post by Jeremy that said something along the lines of how he’s never seen anyone able to retire early with enough invested ONLY in tax-advantaged accounts. I’ve been running our numbers quite a bit lately, and because we both started investing with our work companies early, along with very generous matches, we actually WOULD be able to hit our FI number in only our Roth IRAs/401K/403b accounts by age 44ish if we start maxing them out within the next year (if markets stay ok). We currently aren’t maxing them out, but have the flexibility to do so this year if we choose not to pay extra to our mortgage.
So here’s my question: I know about starting the Roth ladder conversions 5 years before we’d want to access the money, but should we also be diverting some to a non-tax advantaged brokerage account just for easy access before we hit the “Acceptable” retirement age? In that case we would have to choose between maxing out tax advantaged or contributing to brokerage, as we don’t have enough right now to do BOTH. Or just ramp up our savings instead? Any advice/thoughts?
My fear is that we get to age 44 and have plenty in retirement accounts, but can’t access enough of it each year without paying crazy penalties.