Maxing out your 401k or 403b is standard financial advice. By no means is this mandatory and there can be plenty of reasons why you wouldn’t want to.

As a reminder, the max you can contribute into your 401k during 2023 is $22,500. Those 50 and older can save an additional $7,500 per year ($30,000 in total), otherwise known as the “catch-up” contribution.

If you have access to multiple retirement plans, you are able to contribute to multiple plans simultaneously. However, the total contributions across all plans must not exceed the limit, $22,500 if you are under 50, and $30,000 for 50+. This is something you will need to track on your own as your employers don’t communicate and will not know about each others’ plans. It can be a headache if you over contribute…

For those who have already maxed out their 401(k) contributions, or are contributing enough to receive the full employer match, here are a few suggestions on where to save next:

Roth IRA

Yes, you can put money into a traditional or Roth IRA and your 401(k) during the same year. Chances are if you maxed out your 401k, you probably make too much money to contribute to a Roth IRA, but it’s worth exploring (take advantage of tax-free growth!!) You could also consider the “backdoor Roth”.

Investment/Brokerage Account

While retirement accounts offer tax advantages, taxable brokerage accounts provide flexibility. No income limits, no contribution limits, no RMDs once you turn 73, and your investment options are endless. The key thing to keep in mind is taxes. You are subject to any capital gains tax within the account, but you can address this via ‘tax loss harvesting’.

Health Savings Account (HSA)

One of the most tax efficient ways to cover medical expenses is to enroll in an HSA. In order to qualify for an HSA plan, you need to be in a high deductible health plan (HDHP). Your contributions are deductible, offer tax deferred growth, and withdrawals for qualified medical expenses are tax-free. Consider paying for medical costs out of pocket to let your HSA balance grow over time. That way, once you are retired, you can leverage your HSA to cover your medical expenses, which can be one of the bigger annual expenses for a retiree…

After Tax Contributions

If your employer offers an after-tax 401(k) option, it could be worth exploring. Individuals can contribute an additional $43,500 of after-tax money into a 401k account and then convert some or all of that money into a Roth 401k account, allowing for tax-free growth and withdrawals in retirement. Learn more here.


We want to ensure we have all our bases covered. You could even explore life insurance, which is typically really cheap when you are young, and makes sense for those with dependents.

Or prepare for a real estate purchase.

Again, we preach the importance of giving yourself options by spreading your investments out in different accounts and asset classes.

This will provide you with the financial flexibility you need when the unexpected pops up in your life.

If you are like most people, you probably read your company’s benefits documents (or just glanced at them) when hired and have never revisited.

Maybe your 401k was set to the default contribution amount and put into a target date fund.

This is better than doing nothing, but you can do much better by reviewing your plan periodically and seeing what’s available to you.

If you are someone who isn’t quite sure what your options are, please reach out to us and we’d gladly review the documents and explain them in ‘plain english’!

Whatever situation you find yourself in, just remember to ALWAYS BE SAVING!


Disclosure: This material is for general information only and is not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.

This information is not intended to be a substitute for specific individualized tax advice.

A Roth IRA offers tax deferral on any earnings in the account. Qualified withdrawals of earnings from the account are tax-free. Withdrawals of earnings prior to age 59 ½ or prior to the account being opened for 5 years, whichever is later, may result in a 10% IRS penalty tax. Limitations and restrictions may apply.

Contributions to a traditional IRA may be tax deductible in the contribution year, with current income tax due at withdrawal. Withdrawals prior to age 59 ½ may result in a 10% IRS penalty tax in addition to current income tax.