So, after 25 posts in this thread, here's my initial investment/personal finance strategy:
-- Put 5% of my paycheck into my retirement account (employer matches up to 2%)
-- By the end of my first working year, have $12K in investment vehicles other than my retirement account ($10K in index fund; $1K in managed mutual fund; $1K in online brokerage for my own amusement)
-- Have a pot of money for house down-payment
-- Fund bucket of 3 months emergency fund (about $6K)
And that should dry up my salary due to my remaining loan payments, insurance costs, and living expenses.