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May 10, 2017

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I don't see those as milestones, those are pretty much the finish line!

Retirement milestones begin your first day on the job. That's when you carefully review your benefits package and dig into the details of pension, 401k, and employee stock plan (or analogous programs for those not working in private industry). It may help to have an informal conversation with co-workers who are upstream by a couple of decades or more-- their stories are well worth the price of a Starbucks.

You can open an IRA right away, and you may have to wait a year to open a 401k. If you're thinking early retirement you'll want to open a taxable account as well to tap into before age 59 1/2.

Then it's a matter of growing these balances by adding regular savings from your wage income and using those savings to make equity investments. I'd say every bump in the top digit justifies a celebration lunch.

Finally the home stretch comes when you retire all of your debt, as suggested in your previous post that should be gone before your paycheck disappears.

On the Vanguard seven, note that the first and last don't magically appear-- you have to set these up and fund them beforehand in order to collect. FWIW you'll most likely be surprised what a small trickle of dollars grows into decades down the road.

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