Are you a procrastinator? Good news. Even if you missed the first four months of 2009, you still have a full “year” to make contributions! That’s right. The contribution time-table runs from January 1, 2009 until April 15, 2010.
For most folks, the annual contribution limit for a Roth IRA is $5000. (See IRS Publication 590 for complete information about contribution and income limits.) If you start making contributions May 1st, at a rate of $416.67 per month, and make contributions each month until April 1st, you will have fully-funded (made maximum contributions to) your Roth IRA.
Even if you can’t fully-fund your Roth IRA, you might want to consider making contributions, even small ones. Remember, after April 15, 2010, you can no longer make “2009” contributions. The opportunity to make those “2009” contributions will be gone forever.
These same rules apply to the Traditional IRA and to the ESA (Educational Savings Account)