Investing Specialists

10 Myths About IRA Contributions

Christine Benz

Many investors have heard the admonitions about why they should contribute to an IRA as soon as they possibly can: for the 2017 tax year, that would have been Jan. 1, 2017. And yet many investors wait until the last minute--their tax filing deadlines--to make a contribution for the year prior. Vanguard's data has shown that more than twice as many IRA contributions come in in April of the year following the tax year than in January of the current year.

Of course, some investors might be waiting to see their tax pictures to make a contribution. That's not unreasonable, as an investor's ability to contribute to a Roth or make a traditional deductible IRA contribution depends on the taxpayer's modified adjusted gross income, which isn't knowable until the tax return is complete. For a lot of other investors, however, delayed IRA contributions are the result of human nature; inertia is a powerful force, and it's always hard to find the money for the delayed gratification that is retirement savings.