Dear past self: Thanks for the IRA

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Imagine yourself in 20, 30 or 40 years, looking back on the decisions you made today. Which ones will you regret? Which ones will fill you with a sense of satisfaction?

One decision you’ll never regret is the decision to fund your future. The more you can grow your nest egg now, the more comfortable you’ll be in retirement. Picture yourself living the retirement you dream about, whatever that looks like for you. Now imagine your future self thanking you for making it happen.

The sooner you start funding your retirement, the more time your money will have to multiply. With compound interest on your side, more time equals exponential growth—and a wealthier future you.


Your future self loves their IRA

Opening an individual retirement account (IRA) could be one of the best financial decisions you’ll ever make. A traditional IRA lets you save up for retirement tax-free, allowing you to supplement your 401(k) or pension with extra income to cushion you as you age. If you’re self-employed or your employer doesn’t offer retirement benefits, your IRA could one day become your primary source of income.

As of 2019, if eligible you can contribute up to $6,000 a year to your IRA (or $7,000 if you're 50 or older). If you choose a traditional IRA, you may be able to claim your contributions on your taxes to get a bigger refund (pro tips: contribute up through April 15 for the 2019 tax year or put your refund toward next year’s IRA contribution).* Once the money hits your account, it starts earning interest. Then your interest will start earning interest.

What does that mean for your future self? If you invest $6,000 a year at a return of 3% for 30 years, you’ll have over a $285,000 nest egg waiting when you retire. Want to run some of your retirement savings numbers? Give our retirement calculator a try.


WWYFSD—What would your future self do?

Many of the things that seem important today won’t matter to your future self. What will matter are the contributions you make to your retirement account. If you were to ask your future self for advice, chances are they would tell you to pay your IRA first and everything else second. 

The best way to secure your future is to set aside that money before you have a chance to spend it. Pick an amount that makes sense with where you’re at on your financial journey. You can set up your accounts to automatically transfer your contribution each payday. Then figure out a monthly budget based on what you have left.

Saving might feel like a bit of a hardship now, but just keep thinking about your future self. Someday that will be you, looking back on your past self and thanking them for making the decision to fund your future.

Ready for future you to thank you later? Learn more about which retirement accounts OCCU has available by contacting an IRA specialist or calling 541.687.2347.

*Note: The above information is not intended as tax advice. Please consult your tax professional for tax information.