First, you need to determine how much you want to save for retirement.  

While the exact amount will vary depending on your personal financial profile and liquidity needs, as a general rule of thumb, many experts recommend saving between 10% to 15% of your pretax income for retirement.

Once you’ve determined this value, you can then allocate that across various tax-advantaged account types.  The recommended pecking order for allocations is generally:

First, 401(k)s, up to the amount that your employer matches.

If your employer does not offer any 401(k) matching benefits, you can skip this step and go straight to step 2.

However, some employers offer to match their employees’ 401(k) contributions up to a specified amount as an employee benefit.  For example, an employer may offer to match any 401(k) contributions made up 6% of their employees’ salary.

If you’re fortunate enough to have an employer that offers this type of benefit, you should take advantage of that “free money” by contributing as much to your 401(k) as your employer will match.  

Once you’ve contributed up to that matching threshold, you can then start allocating to retirement accounts that offer more control and flexibility, such as IRAs.

Next, IRAs: up to the maximum annual contribution limitation.

Because they offer more control and flexibility in terms of investment & withdrawal options, IRAs are generally considered as more attractive than 401(k)s when it comes to retirement savings.  IRAs also enable you to avoid the hefty administration fees that many 401(k) plans charge.  

If your employer doesn’t offer 401(k)-matching benefits, then you probably should start with IRAs when allocating your retirement savings.

However, there is a limit to how much you can contribute to IRAs every year, which is set by the federal government.  The latest contribution limits for IRAs can always be found on the IRS's website.

Note that these contribution limits wouldn't apply if you’re doing an "IRA rollover" (i.e., transferring money from another IRA account or 401(k) plan into Titan).  For more on how to execute an IRA rollover, see here.

After that, it's up to you.

After you’ve met both of these thresholds, there's no set path as to how you should allocate your retirement funds.  Some people opt to continue adding to their 401(k)s beyond the amounts their employers match, while others prefer to invest in their regular investment accounts for the greater array of investment options available.  

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