Did 2017 end before you could make an IRA contribution?
Although the past year is over and gone, it is not too late to make your 2017 IRA contribution
There are some periods of time that most people would prefer not to have extended - an awkward moment in the elevator, the family meal with your politically opinionated uncle, or a Kansas day where the high temperature is lower than the number of layers you have to wear to keep warm.
While few would want those experiences to last longer, we could use more time when it comes to saving money for the future. In the world of investing, more time tends to be beneficial. Additional years mean time to ride out market lows, while taking full advantage of compounding growth.
The compounding effect of investing is magnified if you own an IRA or Roth IRA, which help you save money for retirement. Money invested in a traditional IRA will grow tax-free. Only when you withdraw money in retirement does taxation take place.
If a Roth IRA is used, you pay taxes up front, but never again. Everything you withdraw from a Roth IRA goes into your pocket and not Uncle Sam's.
Saving money for retirement is always a solid goal, and the tax deferral benefits of an IRA are a great deal. But like so many great deals, it comes with some restrictions. The IRS limits your annual contributions to $5,500 each year, or $6,500 if you are 50 or older.
Although the past year is over and gone, you still have time to make your 2017 IRA contribution.
IRS regulations allow for contributions for 2017 to be made until April 17, 2018. In other words, money you contribute to your IRA before the tax deadline can help you when you file your income tax return for 2017.
This yearly extension is a way to get a good start or continue saving for retirement, and is infinitely better than suffering through Uncle Steve's rant about government long after the food is cold.