College, Retirement

Setting Up Automatic Contributions To Retirement And Education Savings Accounts

I’ve just spent a few minutes setting up automatic contributions to my Roth IRA, my wife’s Roth IRA, and three Education Savings Accounts (one for each of our children).

Contributions to these types account can be made any time between January 1st of one year and April 15th of the next year.  So, I have until April 15th, 2009 to fully-fund both Roth IRAs and the three ESAs.

There is a four month period of time – between January and April of each year – when contributions can be made for the prior year or the present year.  When making a contribution, always make a notation of the year with which the contribution should be associated.  You don’t want to send in a contribution for 2008 and have it count towards 2009’s contribution limit, or vice versa.

Personally, I’m going to push myself and try to get all of my contributions in before December 31st.  That way, I can hit the ground running in 2009 and I won’t have to deal with the period of overlap.  But, if I can’t scrape together all of the money that I need between now and then, it’s good to know that I have the four month cushion.  Of course, if I bleed over into 2009 with my 2008 contributions, my 2009 contribution schedule will be affected.

For our family, our Roth IRA limits are $5000 for me and $5000 for my wife, and $2000 for each of our three kids.  (I’ve already fully-funded my Roth IRA for 2008.  Between now and December, I’ll be working hard to fully-fund my wife’s Roth IRA and the three ESAs)

Here’s the current contribution breakdown (with my own December 2008 deadline) –

2008 Wife’s Roth ESA 1 ESA 2 ESA 3
August 1000 400 400 400
September 1000 400 400 400
October 1000 400 400 400
November 1000 400 400 400
December 1000 400 400 400
Totals 5000 2000 2000 2000

Here’s the backup contribution breakdown (with the actual April 2009 deadline) –

2008 Wife’s Roth ESA 1 ESA 2 ESA 3
August 555.56 222.22 222.22 222.22
September 555.56 222.22 222.22 222.22
October 555.56 222.22 222.22 222.22
November 555.56 222.22 222.22 222.22
December 555.56 222.22 222.22 222.22
Jan 555.56 222.22 222.22 222.22
Feb 555.56 222.22 222.22 222.22
Mar 555.56 222.22 222.22 222.22
Apr 555.56 222.22 222.22 222.22
Totals 5000 2000 2000 2000

The automatic contributions will be made from my primary checking account and have been scheduled to be withdrawn on the day after I deposit my monthly paycheck.

4 thoughts on “Setting Up Automatic Contributions To Retirement And Education Savings Accounts

  1. NCN,

    Great post and it got me thinking about actually starting an IRA for my wife and myself.

    When will you be able to withdraw from the IRAs?

    Also, have you figured up how much you’ll have in IRAs when you retire?

    Thanks for the info!


  2. @Chris.. 59 1/2 is the age for when you can withdraw from your Roth IRA.. there are some circumstances where you can withdraw (with or without penalties) before then…
    As for how much I’m going to need? I don’t know.. I’m just putting in the max for as long as I can..

  3. I’m behind as well. We started in March of last year and just divided the cost by 12 months. If we get additional income in we’ll apply it toward 2008… trying to push us into a Jan-Dec contribution model. But it’s better than nothing, right?

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