Roth IRA, Traditional IRA, 401Ks 403Bs, etc. These are a few of the vehicles that people use for retirement. I use all of them. I have been involved with building retirement accounts since I started working at my first real job. My folks really pushed me in that direction, and I was lucky for it. Anyone who gets pushed in this direction is lucky, and if they take heed in the advice, then they are scholarly too.
From the beginning, I have participated in traditional IRAs contributing $2000.00 per year. I have also been involved in my 401K plans. I have not been lucky enough to be part of a company that matches my participation, but that is OK. I have had the 401K money taken out before I see it in my paycheck, and I have had them take out as much as they can. For me this is generally 15%.
During my stint in the start-up world, 401Ks are not always possible. Sometimes, I have had to participate in SAR/SEP plans, other times I have not had the option available at all. While participating in the SAR/SEP, or not having any of these plans available to me, I have always managed to contribute to my IRA.
I did not take advantage of the ROTH IRA when it first came out. I should have, but hind sight is 20/20. I have started to use ROTH as of late, but at this point, I have money in both IRA options. It is really not a problem for me, but I look back now and I would have been smart to take advantage of the amnesty the government was offering back in 2000.
My wife has a pension plan with her work, and she has a 403B. This 403B plan is a civil servants equivalent of a 401K. She has worked in commercial industry and so she currently has both the 401K and the 403B. She has contributed regularly to both of these plans, and they make up a substantial portion of our networth at this point in time.
There are a few concepts that we are employing as detailed in this blog that most respectable "How to become a millionaire" plans talk about. One, we are paying ourselves first. Having the 401K and the 403B monies come out of our paycheck makes sure that these things happen. Another philosophy that we have adopted is make regular deposits. We do this with both our 401Ks as well as our IRAs. Every year in April, my wife and I trek to the bank (one of the few times I make it into the bank). These two concepts are key to achieving the networth and cashflow that we are shooting for...