401k Question in Banking and Finance Posted October 2, 2008 · Report reply Also, for both IRAs, do I have access to that money if I have an emergency and really need it? Yes, but you pay penalties. Not recommended. If you have a Roth (though I agree with jq26 on this, I would not recommend this), you can access it with no penalty after 5 years of having a Roth (think the max is $10,000 though) if you're going to use it for a house. There are other conditions too that you can after 5 years.You don't want to play with retirement money though. And you're 30, so you're still a young man. If you can give at minimum 5%-10% of your salary and then apply raises to it from now until you're 60, you can probably retire assuming you are aggressive. I have both domestic and internetional growth funds in my Roth, and I have a mix of mostly large cap growth, and value, and a mixture of mid-caps and small caps, with 20% going international. It's pretty much aggressive (no bonds or money market funds....straight up stocks). I'm taking a beating right now, but I know this pain is not going to last. I have made no modification to my plan and I rebalance my portfolio quarterly (cause it's automatic, and I'd forget if I had to do it once a year).You need to read cnnmoney.com or various financial web sites for more information so that you can make your own judgements. But please trust and believe that you don't want to play with your retirement money. And because of your age, go very aggressive and ignore all the stuff with current market volatility. The stock market IS NOT going anywhere. I will get my losses back at some point.