I have budgeted to put $2,000 in my retirement account until the age of 26 and than leave it there until retirement.
Start a Roth IRA for two simple reasons. If you absolutely need to, you can withdraw your contributions tax-free and penalty-free. Just don’t touch the earnings.
And, the earnings accumulate tax-free until retirement provided you follow the tax rules. Since you’re starting early, most of the accumulation in your Roth IRA will be from earnings by the time you retire. Everything you withdraw in retirement will be tax-free.