Q

Should I max out my IRA all at once, or throughout the year?

A

So long as you're not overextended, you should fund your account with as much as you can, as soon as you can.

As a rule of thumb, you should do your best to fund your IRA as soon as you possibly can. Why? The sooner your money is in your IRA the sooner it will begin earning money for your retirement. Plus, those who procrastinate and wait until the April 15 deadline run the risk of finding themselves with a tax bill, out of cash and as a result, out of luck to take advantage of the tax-deferring savings that come with IRA investment.

One word of caution — never, ever overextend yourself funding retirement savings to the point that you’ll need to rely on credit cards to pay your bills. Retirement planning is great, but credit card debt is one hole you really don’t want to start digging.

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