Financial laziness.

I’ve been a big sack of laziness lately when it comes to keeping up with my retirement planning. Apparently the calendar has decided to say it is September (when did that happen?) which means I could have contributed to my Roth IRA as early as nine months ago for the 2013 tax year.

Had I just invested the $5,500 Roth IRA contribution limit on January 1st like a good little Ninja, that amount would have grown by $935. Or in other words, basically my $5,500 contribution would be $6,500 right now. 

How lame am I?

Answer: only kind of lame because at least I’m realizing my lameness as opposed to justifying it? 

…Okay, well part of me wants to justify it for the following lame reasons…

  1. I upped my 401k contributions this year quite a bit.
  2. We bought a house, which hopefully will have some investment aspect to it.
  3. I’m lame.

It’s time I give myself a swift kick in the butt and get my Roth contribution in.

Have you needed to give yourself a kick in the rear for being financially lazy in any capacity?

  • Avoiding paying down debt faster than you could/should?
  • Not contributing to retirement when you have the means?  
  • Paying for two cable boxes when you haven’t turned your basement TV on in months? 

17 thoughts on “Financial laziness.”

  1. From what I understand 401K and Roth combine to your maximum. if you upped your 401K you might want to make sure new contributions to your Roth are going to need to be taken back out before putting it in. I am SOO not a financial planner nor licensed etc etc; that bit me a couple of years ago.

  2. Roth and 401(k) do not combine to your maximum; they are unrelated and have their own maximums. Roth IRA and traditional IRA contributions do combine to an annual under age 50 total of $5500. You’re talking about under $1000. By the time your accounts hit the $500K mark perhaps 20-30 years from now, dips and rises of $1K a day or more will be commonplace. And since you “upped” your 401(k) contributions, that offsets the lack of activity in the Roth. Think of all your assets as one portfolio, not a collection of unrelated portfolios.

  3. I have an appointment with my bank lady today at noon to correct 2 big problems I have been ignoring because I am so lazy.

    1) collapsing the high fee/poorly performing bank run mutual fund in my RRSP and switching to a Vanguard ETF.

    2) dumping my bank as my online broker – they have a low cost brokerage but I have been paying $29 per trade because I don’t have the minimum 50K in assets held in the brokerage account. I only make a few trades a year but wasting money is wasting money.

  4. I need to get back on track our saving goals. It’s been an expensive few months. Summer came. We seem to spend more money during summer. And we bought a nice bed. But now we really have to go on financial lock down. Need to eat out less, etc.

  5. Ninja
    Im actually in the same boat as you. I just started an auto withdraw for my roth IRA this month (Will kick in for oct 1) but I would have had a lot more cash had I maxed in jan. Unfortunately I wont be able to max this year (house as well) but will shoot for next year.

  6. Life happens, certainly adding the responsibility of home ownership will keep you busier then before. I find I consistently need to find ways to stay motivated and not get lazy. We have been in debt repayment mode for 3 years.

  7. I am currently at your age and I am still trying to understand why I chose to spend the way I have. I continue to want to change what financial problems I have and I continue to do the wrong things. I for one want to invest in some investment properties so I can have residual income,but I have killed my credit at the moment and will have to wait for a while, maybe losing the opportunity to make a bigger profit due to the lower housing prices.

    You always have the opportunity to become financially stable, it is only yourself that’s holding you back.

  8. I need a swift kick in the financial rear-end. We really need to increase our savings and pay down our debt. I feel like I’m at a standstill even though I’m throwing extra money at credit card balances and loans.

  9. I don’t think your lame but this post definitely is. What if your 5500 dollar put in on January 1 was now worth 4500 dollars? Would you still be making a post mocking yourself for not putting money at the first of the year or would this post be about you being smart for dollar cost averaging?

    • Meh, I probably would have bragged on not paying in if the market went down. Good call.

      That said, I still have no excuse for procrastinating my contributions. I should just have the discipline to do them Jan 1 of every year.

      • That’s cool.

        To answer the questions at about dumb financial decisions I have two one of which I couldn’t have known about the other is a monthly decision I toy with making.

        1 At the start of the year I was working on a project at work with a that my boss said tight deadline and had to do a lot of overtime to complete it. Usually my bonus most is based on 2* salary/2000 * overtime hours but my boss could only pay 1.8 multiplier because our clients decided not to do the work that the software was to automate. That made my bonus about 3k less than I was expecting.

        2 I have about 120k left on my mortgage with a rate of 4%. I also have about 110k in non investment bank accounts (and due for a bonus on par with the stated above if the multiplier doesn’t change again). I have my reasons for not paying off my mortgage ( not very good ones) but I still haven’t done it.

      • Q makes a good point. You could also just DCA the relatively painless $458.33 each month to your Roth, the important point being to keep adding to your account rather than worrying about the state of the market any month.

        But wait. Weren’t you the guy who wrote something not so long ago against funding a Roth?

          • Actually I hadn’t, even though I wrote to it.

            However — I’m coming around to thinking that a Roth has some additional benefits, among them the facts that withdrawals from a Roth (unlike a tax-deferred IRA) do not figure in the formula for taxing social security benefits or Medicare part B premiums, and that unlike a traditional IRA there are no required minimum distributions from a Roth when you turn 70.5. Of course the laws may change when you reach retirement age, but as of now the Roth may have advantages for retirees. (Dana Anspach covers this very well in her excellent book, “Control your Retirement Destiny.”)

  10. I really really prefer slow and steady IRA contributions throughout the year for DCA’s sake. But what’s more, there is a bit of a freedom buffer since the IRA deadline is tax time the following year. So if something strange happened, there *would* be some wiggle room with funds (divert contributions from the IRA to something else, temporarily).

    It just depends on individual circumstances of course.

  11. That is lame, but at least you have two positives to your negative. I think you are still ahead of the game eventhough the gains this year have been awesome. Punch the Roth in the face before april next year.

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