In a case of great timing, DQYDJ’s article guessing how Mitt Romney has so much money in his IRA is now the third most popular article on the site! While I hold no belief that this situation will continue past November of this year, I think that, in the moment, it’s interesting to ask how a retail investor (read: the rest of us) might have fared had we contributed as much as the Romney family must have during Mitt’s 24 year stint in the public sector (whew). So, how much out-performance did Mr. Romney achieve?
If you read a lot of Personal Finance, you’ve probably noticed a similar theme on your favorite websites this morning: they are all talking about Roth IRAs. As dues-paying members of the blogosphere, we also joined Jeff Rose’s “Roth IRA Movement” slated for this morning! So, let’s talk about the Roth.
You’ve got an IRA, right? This site has been preaching the tax benefits of both traditional and Roth IRAs since the beginning… and we aren’t going to stop now. So hopefully you’ve been diligently saving in your IRA, with the hope that some day you’ll have a couple million dollars in there (or at least a good amount of funds you can tap in retirement).
Mitt Romney, it was revealed in financial disclosure documents, has an Individual Retirement Account worth somewhere between $20.7 and $101.6 million dollars. Note that IRAs have a small limit when compared to 401(k)s and other employer retirement accounts, so this came as somewhat of a shock to people with IRAs. How did Mr. Romney achieve such an impressive sum in his retirement account?
Tying to an article earlier that my colleague PKamp3 wrote, personal finance seems to have taken a dive in popularity in more recent years. As a writer for a confessedly self-aware personal finance crowd, this assertion may seem irrelevant, surprising, or, at worst, alarming. As a young college graduate, many of my fellow coworkers (as well as I) have student loans as one of their more significant financial obligations on top of car loans and (soon) mortgages. Some plan on paying down their student loans as fast as possible to deleverage themselves and then start saving for a home. I am of a different and not necessarily correct opinion: to hold onto the student loans for as long as possible due to their incredibly low interest rate and tax-deductibility for incomes up to $60,000 (partial deductions up to $75,000).
It’s a topic we’ve covered here at DQYDJ before, and we’ll definitely do it again in the future. Every once and a while everyone needs a reminder: if you qualify, open a Roth IRA. If you have one and you aren’t funding it: do it. Here’s a rehashing of why!
Do you get a match? What’s the average management fee on your fund choices? Does your plan have all of the necessary asset classes? If you’ve got a 401(k) at work, no doubt you’ve been pressured to sign up (or automatically enrolled). How does your 401(k) stack up?
If you saw $1,377.71 lying on the ground, would you pick it up?
I hope you would. That’s the sort of savings you could find from opening a Roth IRA. Any increase in your future tax rates means you made money simply from choosing the right account to invest in. Sound good? Read the article.