How to Grab an Extra $150,000 for Retirement

by Jason on March 15, 2010

Who doesn’t want a little extra cash for retirement?  Of course, we all do.  But since money doesn’t grow on trees we have to find a few ways to create our own money tree.

Let’s take a simple look at how easy it could be to grab some extra cash for retirement, but first let’s start with the basics.

401k Contribution Rules

We need to rview the 401k contribution rules so we’re all on the same page.  In 2010, the contribution limit to a 401k is $16,500 if you are under the age of 50.

If you are over the age of 50 you get the opportunity for a $5,500 catch-up contribution so the total you can throw in your 401k is $22,000!

That is a HUGE opportunity for some additional retirement savings!

Extra Money for Retirement Savings

Let’s assume you are age 50 and you want to retire at age 65, so you’ve got 15 years until that magical age of retirement.

Let’s also assume that you are currently contributing the max to your 401k or $16,500.  You now have an opportunity to throw in an extra $5,500 to your 401k, but you’re just not sure you want to.

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Do the Math!

Let’s just do a simple Time Value of Money (TVM) calculation to give you sense of what the catch-up contribution could net you when it’s all said and done.

Let’s say you’re contributing $16,500 to your 401k – here’s what an extra $5,500 will do

  • PMT (payment or contribution) = $5,500
  • PV (present value) = $0 – we’ll assume zero for the sake of argument
  • Rate (interest rate earned) = 8% – this is fairly moderate – not too aggressive, not too conservative
  • N (number of periods) = 15 years – we’ll compound annually
  • Solve For FV (future value) = The answer we come up with is $149,336.63!

You are essentially grabbing an extra $150,000 just by doing the catch-up!

What If I’m Not Age 50?

Okay, for you younger folks who aren’t able to do the “catch-up”, let’s take a look at what a maxed out IRA will look like if you start now!

The IRA contribution limits are currently $5,000 annually for those under the age of 50.  Let’s do some simple math again:

  • PMT (payment or contribution) = $5,000
  • PV (present value) = $0 – again, we’ll assume zero for the sake of argument
  • Rate (interest rate earned) = 8% – this is fairly moderate – not too aggressive, not too conservative
  • N (number of periods) = 30 years – we’ll assume your 30 years old and want to retire at age 60!
  • Solve For FV (future value) = The answer we come up with is $566,416.06

Not too shabby – more than a half mildo just by maxing out your IRA!

It’s Not That Simple

Okay, okay, I know that no one earns 8% every single year for 30 years. The problem with these types of calculations is that they are totally unrealistic!  But here’s the point – don’t hesitate to start saving for retirement or any other goal you have.

It Really Is That Simple

Huh?  Yes, it is simple – because the bottom line is that the sooner you get started and the more you can put away – the greater the impact compound interest will have on your portfolio!

Maybe it won’t be $500,000 or even $150,000 additional savings – but anything is better than nothing!

So, what are you waiting for!?

Let me know your thoughts

  1. Are you maxing out your 401k or IRA?
  2. Do you plan on saving additional money this year for your retirement goal?

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