What kinds of investments and accounts will work in the short term for saving up for these expenses in the next 2 years and what types of investments are great for saving and building a nest egg in the long-term?
Mutual funds with Vanguard is a great way to start. Obviously, you will want to make sure you take advantage of any 401k matching with your employer, but, really, 15% of your gross income should go towards retirement, ASAP. You can never get this time in the market back (and that is a more important factor than the percentage, right now.)
As a basic example - every $120 dollars saved in 2013 will be about $20k in 2053 (assuming a modest 6%). If you wait until 2033 - it will cost you about $500 to get that same $20k in 2053.
With more aggressive 12% return projection, that $120 dollars in 2013 will be over $100k in 2053.
Likewise, you'll need $1200 to $1300 invested in 2033, to get that same $100k (again, at 12%) in 2053.
So, even if it is $10 per month (then up it whenever you can) pay yourself first. Then you can laugh at the debt/wage slaves when you're 65 and chartering your own spaceship to the moon.
This post was edited on 11/12 at 1:05 pm