9 Small Financial Steps That Will Pay Off Big in the Future
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5. Invest in a Roth IRA
I love the Roth IRA. Tax-free income in retirement is a truly great deal. That's because income tax rates are likely to rise given all the big federal deficits that will need to be repaid. (And remember: Withdrawals from a traditional IRA or 401(k) will be taxed at your ordinary income tax rate.) If you have modified adjusted gross income (AGI) below $117,000 this year ($184,000 for married couples filing a joint return), you can invest the maximum $5,500 in an IRA (or $6,500 if you are 50 or older). Above those income limits, you can make smaller contributions; you lose eligibility if you have a modified AGI of $132,000 or more, or are part of a married couple with a modified AGI of $194,000 or above.
I know $5,500 or $6,500 is a big deal. And I promised small steps. So break that $5,500 into 12 monthly chunks. Does $458 sound more doable? If it's still too much, save what you can. No rule says it has to be $5,500. You can invest as little as $600 a year at some fund companies through an auto-investing plan, or save until you meet the $1,000 to $1,500 minimum initial investment most mutual funds require.