If you haven’t added money to your Roth Individual Retirement Account for this year yet – go ahead and do so now. Given the state of retirement planning for the vast majority of those in the USA there is a good chance your retirement is the area of your financial life that will most benefit from more resources. The other action that is likely worthwhile is to cut your spending but we will leave that for other posts.
If your employer offers matching on your 401(k) or 403(b) that may well be an even higher priority. There is almost never a decent reason not to add at least 5% of your income to a retirement account matched by your employer. Make sure, as the amount grows above $100,000 that it is invested in a diversified manor (not all in the stock of your employer or…).
For 2007 the most you can add to your Roth IRA or just IRA is $4,000 ($5,000 for those 50 years old or older). Next year that maximum increases to $5,000 ($6,000 for those 50 and up). If you have already added the maximum that is matched to your 401k and have added the maximum to your IRA for this year get ready to add the $5,000 to your IRA for 2008 in January (you do have to make sure you don’t earn too much to be eligible to add funds – pretty much you have to be over $100,000 in income, $150,000 on a joint return, before you have to worry but look up the details yourself). By adding the money to your IRA early in the year you will get another year or tax free growth (for the Roth or tax deferred growth from the regular IRA).
For more details on the rules on IRAs see the links we provide on the Curious Cat Investment Dictionary IRA page.