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The IRA Is Woefully Underappreciated

Poll QuestionAmericans spend far more time planning their dinner reservations than their Individual Retirement Account investments.

And that’s not the only disturbing finding from financial services provider TIAA-CREF’s recent survey.

Less than one in five people even contribute to an IRA, and the rate is falling – down to 17% from 22% in 2012.

What’s more, fewer people are even thinking about an IRA as part of their retirement investment plan. Just 47% of those who didn’t make an IRA contribution would consider an IRA. In 2013, it was 57%.

At least people are making good use of their time. (She said sarcastically.)

Of those who spent two hours or more on an activity, only 15% surveyed said they planned an IRA investment.

But 25% reported spending that amount of time selecting a restaurant for a special occasion; 21%, buying a flat-screen television; 16%, buying a tablet computer.

TIAA-CREF rightly points out that your retirement will last longer than all of these things. Combined.

Look, it’s no secret that an IRA should be an integral part of your retirement planning and that far too few people take advantage of their IRAs.

Traditional IRAs, for example, allow you to defer taxes on contributions and earnings until you retire, when you’ll probably be in a lower tax bracket than when you’re working.

If you have an IRA, kudos to you.

Seriously, it’s a great first step – not to mention the only way you can consistently contribute to an IRA and add those contributions to your retirement income.

And by consistently, we mean every year, and as much as you’re allowed to contribute.

While IRA contribution limits remain unchanged in 2014, there are new guidelines based on how much you make and whether or not your work has a 401(k) available to you.

When it comes to your IRA, we want to know where you fit in.

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