My Retirement Update: 401(k) Bumped and Roth IRA Opened

04.10.08 | Retirement | 0 Comments | by Tom Valenti

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In a post a little while ago, I questioned the traditional wisdom that says you should max out on your 401(k) and fully fund a Roth IRA every year.

Here's an update of where I am with that: I did some research, and I realized that I was only contributing 4% to my 401(k), which meant I wasn't even taking full advantage of my employer's match. I brought that up to 6% to get the full match.

Until the last year or so, I probably really needed that extra money in my paycheck, so I don't think I've let too much money slip away by not taking full advantage of the match.

I also opened a Roth IRA, even though I feel my retirement may be well-set without it.

So why did I open it, then? Because maybe I will use it in my retirement, and after more research, I realized I could pull out my contributions at any time if I need it before I turn 59.5. Also, if I ever have children, the contributions and interest earned can be used for their college expense.

It seems like this could work out better than a 529 plan.

I'm looking at the Roth like a miscellaneous fund right now, and I think it's a good idea I start funding it now to put the power of compounding to work earlier.

Tom Valenti is a marketer and project manager who currently works for a financial institution in New Jersey. For more info, visit him at

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