It’s not often you hear a 23 year old making it their annual goal to max out their IRA contributions, but as someone who knows the benefits of compounding interest, I know how much maxing out my IRA will help me prep for retirement.
I have had my Roth IRA for over two years now and have only managed to set aside $800 for it. Although I made several other investments, several distractions stopped me from maxing it out before.
1.) I did not have a full-time job.
Working part-time while going to school meant that I wasn’t making a lot of extra money. $6,000 would have been about 15 weeks salary for me, leaving me nothing to spend on food, school supplies, and time with friends.
2.) I favored riskier investments.
The same year I started my Roth IRA was also the same year I discovered cryptocurrency. As a college kid with their first job and dreams of being an early millionaire you can image what was more enticing to me…
In the end, this wasn’t necessarily a bad choice. I sold most my BTC at a time in college where I did not have a job in order to cover some living expenses and broke even. Since my money was in BTC and not an IRA it was much more liquid and I could withdraw without facing any penalties.
3.) I did not come up with an investment strategy.
Although I invested a decent portion of money while I worked in college, my main focus was not on my IRA. I had finally gotten to over $1,000 in my main investment account, but was eager to hit $5,000. Since I was funneling more money into that account, I ignored my Roth.
My Investment Plan:
The max contributions for an IRA in 2021 is $6,000. That means I need to invest $500 a month. To be safe, I’m going to aim to invest $546 a month that way I can still be on track if I have an unexpected car repair or loss of income.
I am well aware that maxing out my IRA is probably not the most financially-savvy move a 23 year old can make. Right now is a great time for me to be making riskier investments! But I’m a big fan of consistent, long-term market strategies. I love the idea of bragging that I maxed out my IRA contributions for the year. Plus, if I find a riskier investment I like I can always eat ramen noodles to fund that investment.
What do you think? Is this #moneygoals or #moneystupid? What money mistakes have you made?