Category Archive: Retirement

Only Six Months Left To Make Year 2009 Contributions To Roth IRA Or Traditional IRA

My wife and I both have contributions to the retirement plans offered by our employers deducted from our paychecks.  In addition to those pre-tax retirement contributions, we also make monthly contributions to our Roth IRAs.

For me, the annual contribution limit to my Roth IRA is $5000.  (See IRS Publication 590 for complete information about contribution and income limits.)  My wife’s limit is the same.

The contribution time-table for both the Roth IRA and the Traditional IRA runs from January 1, 2009 until April 15, 2010.  That’s right.  We have until the tax-filing deadline of 2010 to make contributions to IRAs for 2009.

So, even if you haven’t made contributions for 2009, there’s still time.  We have six months to contribute as much as we can, up to our contribution limits.  Remember, once the deadline passes, we can’t go “back” and make contributions for the 2009 fiscal year. We’ll have to settle for making contributions for the 2010 fiscal year.

Between January 1 and April 15, there is an over-lap, and contributions can be made for both 2009 and 2010.  We indicate, using the memo line on our checks, the year for which we are making a contribution.

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Current Retirement Asset Class Allocation

Here’s a look at our current retirement investment portfolio.  These numbers are current as of today.  This breakdown does not include my wife’s pension plan, nor does it include money invested for college education savings.  We use four accounts to save for retirement (in addition to my wife’s pension).  My 403(b), my Roth IRA, my wife’s Roth IRA, and a SEP IRA for business income investing.

Our current retirement investement allocation.

Large Cap / Total US Market = 46%

Mid Cap / Small Cap = 34%

International = 17%

Cash / Bonds = 2%

The majority of the large cap / total US market stocks are held in Vanguard’s VTI ETF – which tracks the broader US market.  The majority of mid / small cap stocks are held in my 403(b) via a REIT.  All of the international stocks are held in a fund with my 403(b).  I recently made a change to my future contributions, so the amount held in cash / bonds should increase, as a percentage of the portfolio, over time.

One of my goals for 2009 is to fully-fund my 403(b) ($16,500).  I also hope to fully-fund my Roth IRA ($5,000) and my wife’s Roth IRA ($5,000).

This is my personal portfolio, constructed after doing my own research and according to my own risk tolerance. I may even change it in the future.  It is not a recommendation to purchase any specific securities.  I am not a financial professional or investment adviser, nor do I play one on the web.

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Roth IRA Deposit Gone Awry

I have just gotten off of the phone after the better part of an hour.   I can’t be sure, but I think I’ve fixed a problem, that until today, I never knew existed.

The background –

I have a Roth IRA.  My wife has a Roth IRA.  One of my goals for 2009, is to fully-fund both Roth IRAs.  We have a joint checking account.  From time to time, I will send a payment (deposit) from our checking account to the brokerage where we have our Roth IRAs.  Clear enough?  Good.

The problem –

Last week, I logged in to my checking account, and initiated two payments (deposits), one for my Roth, one for my wife’s Roth.

Today, when checking on the status of said payments, I was shocked to find that the deposit intended for my wife’s Roth IRA was rejected.

Apparently, when my bank sends a payment to another company, the only name on the payment check is my name, even though the checking account is a joint account.  Well, when the brokerage received the payment, and noticed that my wife’s name was not on the check, they rejected the check, because they do not accept third-party payments.

The solution –

I called my brokerage, and they suggested that I send a copy of a recent bank statement, along with my wife’s name and account information, showing that she is, indeed, a joint holder of the checking account.  This sounded like a lot of work, and I’m just not in the mood for a lot of work.

I then called my bank, pressed zero fifty times, talked to a very nice CSR, and had him add my wife’s name to all future online bill payment checks.  Problem, hopefully, solved.

I also canceled the payment to the brokerage, the one for my wife’s Roth IRA.  Once the money, which has already been deducted from my checking account, is safely back in the account, I’ll initiate another payment.  Hopefully, this one will have my wife’s name on it, and all will go smoothly.

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