Precursor: I work in the software industry and as such, I'm pretty subjected to the massive instability: possibly no demand, and also i don't expect to be able to keep up with the technology when i'm 40+. (I'm thinking about switching careers when I invariably hit that impending mid-life crisis).
That said, i'm 25, and want to build out a good retirement plan. I've heard about 401k account and Roth IRA, but i don't really understand them. I've barely contributed to 401k accounts and $0 on Roth IRA (i know, i know, i haven't been very good about it). I would like to know... what all options are there for me and what might make sense in my case?
My situation: I'm 25, (filing single on taxes until 30+), live in CA, and pay a stupidly obscene amount of tax for a middle class 25 year old. I've started to try to put $15k this year in my 401k (but i'm still not sure how to manage that correctly). I live fairly frugally (for CA standards) so i never try to live above my means - i can very comfortably spare $3k a month (at max $4k) if i don't put any money into 401k account. I don't make over 127k, it's very slightly under that, so i can contribute to Roth IRA(?). i'm not sure if i can only do partial contributions or not?
what would you do in my situation, especially given that there's a chance i may have a career switch when i'm 40? assume that my salary will be around the same for the next 4-6 years, if i can still get a job.