I'm 23 right now, and I'm currently contributing about 6% of my salary to a 401(k) with an employer that matches 20% of my contribution up to 6%. Based on various calculators, continuing at this rate will probably give me something like $2-3 million by the time I'm 65 (depending on rate of return, annual increase, etc.)
I'm considering just biting the bullet and trying to max out my 401k for the rest of my working days - it will reduce my monthly cash flow, obviously, but once I get "used" to that, then I'll never worry about it again. The fun part is that when I look at $16,500/year for the next 40-45 years, I end up with a cool $6-10 million (ahh to be young...). One calculator indicated I'd be able to pull out around 8-9% of the total per year in retirement (so ~200k in the first case, ~500k in the second case)
So two-part question:
1.) Has anyone tried switching from a fixed percentage to maxing out their 401k? Was it difficult to adjust to the reduced cash flow? Do you wish that you had kept the extra cash to enjoy along the way, or are you happy that your retirement funds are growing much faster? Considering that I'm planning on my future earnings being much higher than they are now, is it worth enjoying some of my money now, or is it just THAT critical to stash away as much money as possible now?
2.) Considering my age, potential size of my retirement accounts, and hypothesizing about the future, would it be wise to consider Roth investments? Things to consider - contribution phase-outs for salary, contribution caps, tax rates going up, etc.