Conventional personal finance wisdom often instructs one to make full use of tax-advantaged accounts before placing additional savings into other investments.
I don't think this is bad advice in general, but I suspect it is informed by the individual 401k maximum contribution ($19,500 as of 2020).
My employer allows for employees to request that their salary be reduced and instead have that amount contributed (by the employer) into the employee's 401k (up to the $57,000 limit for combined employee and employer contributions).
Are there enough advantages to 401k tax deferral that I should really maximize this before saving/investing on my own? My concern is that I'll find myself "401k-poor" - with more than enough saved for retirement, but not having ready access to funds for things like house down payments and college expenses.
I'm in my 30s and my 401k balance seems to be "on track" in terms of retirement savings even with 401k contributions of less than $57,000 per year.