Non tangible retirement is a bit of a double edge sword. Lets just write off social security, unless you are going to start drawing with in the next 10 years. The SS day of reconciliation will be here before we know it. For most of these plans you get matched funds, or partial matched funds. Except for military and other .gov employees who get nothing extra for paying in. So right off the bat, from day 1 I doubled my money. For some people like my wife she pays in 7% of her pay and they match most of that, matching her 7% coming out of her check with 5% equal to her pay. That's still increasing your investment by more than 2/3 over night. Either way I don't know any other legal way to instantly increase a small part of my paycheck by at least 2/3 over night, every time I get paid. Potential pit falls are the dems are successful in "going after your 401k". This is very likely as more and more of the current generation saves nothing, social security reaches its only logical conclusion as more and more of the non savers become voting aged. And you know it will be one of those bills where you have to pass it to find out what's in it. I think it's only a matter of time. Or some other society ending event, but in-case that doesn't happen you need something to retire on. Also these retirement plans are a good fall back for personal shtf, which is probably going to happen to all of us at some point. So that brings me to my next point, early funds withdrawal, taking out a loan. Because having money can be the difference between a setback and total personal shtf. The best deal around is TSP, pay a loan origination fee, borrow any amount you want, only catch is it has to be paid back in 10 months or you get hit with early withdrawal penalty for the remainder you haven't paid back. For all the rest you pay a loan originating fee, but then you still have to pay 6% or 7% interest. Which I think is BS, it should be more like 2% or less since the amount of the loan is fully luquid asset backed. I have never used a tsp or 401k loan so I am not fully familiar with the process, maybe someone else who has can?(Please) Early withdrawal penalty is 20%. Now I have taken an early withdrawal, it takes about 7 business days to get the money in your account. If the government makes a 401k grab, I'm cashing out. Because the first thing the government 401k take over will do is limit your control and further restrict access to your own money. I think at least early on for every dollar you have in non tangibles you should be trying to have $1 in tangible liquid assets (USD) or nearly liquid assets, such as items of negotiable value, things like physical foreign currency, gold, silver coin. As your retirement grows and the market is good your retirement funds value could increase by hundreds of dollars per month, don't expect to keep up with that. And liquid or nearly liquid assets I'm not talking about capital, real investment and liabilities, such as your house, vehicles, guns, ammo, chainsaws, generators, food hoard, land, live stock. The only one of those that kind of spends like cash is live stock. You can sell off land but chances are if you need money fast you will have to sell at fire sale prices, unless you have standing offers from people or so much land you don't know what to do with it. What is your retirement plan?