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!
A few years back my cousin visited me while I was still in school. Since he had never been to Vegas, my roommate and I decided to take him there… as soon as he landed in Los Angeles. Hilarity ensued… and nothing was learned at all about retirement saving except how not to approach it.
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.
One of the more interesting questions that has cropped up recently is whether the Roth or traditional 401(k) is the superior savings vehicle. Most people know that if you expect your tax rate to increase in retirement, a Roth is better, and a Traditional 401(k) is better in the case you believe it will decrease. I would like to show you some of the considerations where this may not be the whole story. I am not a financial planner; I just like to think through these sorts of decisions on my own. The following is my judgment of the situation, and you should discuss your own situation with a financial planner. Hopefully you can use this information for your own purposes. Also, if the middle is too dry, skip to the end. Enjoy!