Money Learning Checklist 4 – IRAs

money management

THIS POST MAY CONTAIN AFFILIATE LINKS. SEE MY FULL DISCLOSURE FOR DETAILS.

An Individual Retirement Account (IRA) is a great way to accumulate a retirement stash.  It’s also a great way to protect asset growth and investment earnings from taxation.

I highly recommend contributing as early as possible.  IRA contributions can begin when an individual has earned income.  Therefore, it can begin with a teenager’s part-time earnings.  Visit your favorite bank or online broker and open an account if you don’t already have one.

Learn what your maximum contributions are

IRA contributions come with conditions.  There’s a maximum amount that can be contributed and it can change every year.  Know what yours is.  It’s based on your filing status, married vs. single, etc.  The next condition to reach is eligibility for a tax deduction.  Again, it depends on your filing status and whether you participate in your employer’s retirement plan.

For employees that participate in their employer’s retirement plan, a full or partial deductible contribution is still a possibility if the amount is less than the range specified for the type of filer.  You can easily find the current year’s table for the income ranges by filing status by doing an internet search or by looking in the IRS publication.  Notice that I’m not spelling it out, it’s up to you to gain some awareness.

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investing

Investment Compounding Schedule

 

THIS POST MAY CONTAIN AFFILIATE LINKS.  SEE MY FULL DISCLOSURE FOR DETAILS.

I devised this schedule to predict what my future investments would be worth.  The typical Future Value calculation involves taking today’s account balance, applying an interest rate and the number of periods for compounding. 

That’s great if you are working with only one balance at one given time. 

Because I make regular deposits into my investment accounts, I wanted to increase the balances at different intervals.  I created quarterly segments where any additional investment can be entered.  The formula will take the new end-of-quarter balance and apply the compounding. This repeats for all quarters. 

The yellow fields are the input fields.  The investment account balances can be entered at the top left.  You will see the entire schedule update as soon as an investment balance is entered.  Amounts can be entered in all the “Cash Invested” fields. 

At the end of the schedule, I calculate a cash flow amount based on the final balance.  I have used a conservative 3.5% return.  Below, I have a short list of estimated living expenses. Both cash flow and living expenses can be calculated on a monthly or annual basis.

If you’re good at Excel, you change alter the rates and add rows for additional years.  Let me know what you think of the schedule. I hope you find it useful.

Inv Compounding

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