Powerful Compounding

college_savingsYour teenager is probably in the last week of his or her summer job, and chances are the wages have been collecting in a bank account. What should happen with that money when your child goes back to school?

One possibility is to start a custodial Roth Individual Retirement Account, owned by your teenager. All you need is a custodial account with an adult co-signing (if the teen is under 18). That money can grow for many decades and come out tax-free 30 or 50 years down the road.

How much are we talking about? If the money were to grow at an average rate of 5% a year (which, of course, is not guaranteed, but is in line with long-term averages for a balanced portfolio), then a $5,000 contribution at age 19 would grow to $52,006 by age 67. If your child waits until age 25 to invest the same amount in a Roth IRA, under the same return assumptions, the balance at age 67 would be just $38,808.

If that contribution becomes a habit, the numbers become more interesting. A 19-year-old who maxes out on a $5,500 Roth contribution every year until age 67, under the same rate of return assumptions, would see the account grow to $1,164,985.

Suppose your teen decides to spend some of that money, or use it for college tuition? Parents and/or grandparents can match whatever contribution the child decides to make, to bring the total back up to $5,500. They money in a Roth or other retirement account doesn’t count toward the Fafsa financial aid form, so you don’t have to worry about compromising the teen’s financial aid eligibility. And having a hefty Roth IRA at retirement might address the possibility that Social Security won’t be around, or as robust, when your kids eventually retire.

Sources: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/02/your-money/individual-retirement-account-iras/for-teenagers-starting-and-saving-in-a-roth-ira.html?ref=your-money&_r=0


About Objectively Speaking

Tom Batterman, founder of Vigil Trust & Financial Advocacy and Financial Fiduciaries, LLC is in the business of representing the best financial interests of his clients. Having provided objective, fee-only financial management services for over two decades, he specializes in managing the investment and related financial affairs of individuals and mutual insurance companies who do not have the time, interest or expertise to manage such matters on their own. As an objective, unbiased professional who takes on a fiduciary responsibility to his clients, he guides clients to the financial decisions they would make themselves if they had years of training and experience and the time and expertise to fully research and understand all of their options. Founded in 2010 as an outgrowth of Vigil Trust & Financial Advocacy, Financial Fiduciaries, LLC is a financial management solution for individuals and mutual insurance companies who recognize they do not have the time, interest or expertise to properly attend to their financial matters on their own. While there are many financial “advisors”, most of them have investment products to sell and the “advice” they provide is geared toward getting their clients to engage in a purchase. As one of the rare subset of advisors known as “fiduciary advisors”, Financial Fiduciaries does not sell any investment product so its guidance is not compromised by conflicts of interest which plague ordinary advisors. Prior to his employment in the financial industry in financial advocacy and trust positions, he worked at a private law practice in the Wausau area in the areas of estate planning, tax, retirement planning, corporate organizations and real estate. He is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the UW-Madison Law School and has during his career held Series 7, 24 and 65 securities licenses. A longtime resident of the Wausau, Wisconsin Area, Tom is active in the community. He enjoys golf, curling, skiing, fishing, traveling and spending time with his family.
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