What age did you start maxing out your retirement contributions?

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betterfinances
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What age did you start maxing out your retirement contributions?

Post by betterfinances » Fri Jan 29, 2016 1:47 am

For those who max out their retirement contributions (401k + Spousal 401k + Roth IRA + Spousal Roth IRA, unless 1 or more accounts are not available for your family), what age were you when you started doing so?

I've never maxed out my retirement accounts, as I don't have $47,000 in 2016 to set aside in retirement.

mervinj7
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Re: What age did you start maxing out your retirement contributions?

Post by mervinj7 » Fri Jan 29, 2016 2:01 am

Hopefully this year, so 32...

TheMokaPot
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Re: What age did you start maxing out your retirement contributions?

Post by TheMokaPot » Fri Jan 29, 2016 2:42 am

When I was 22, I maxed out my Roth IRA.

When I was 23, I maxed out my Roth IRA + 401(k). I don't have a spouse or access to other tax safe contributions like HSA.

cbr shadow
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Re: What age did you start maxing out your retirement contributions?

Post by cbr shadow » Fri Jan 29, 2016 3:09 am

My wife and I maxed our 401k's and RothIRA's for the first time when we were 28. This was roughly 60% of our gross income at the time.

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Re: What age did you start maxing out your retirement contributions?

Post by Raploch » Fri Jan 29, 2016 3:22 am

Started maxing out my Roth at 45... until age 51 when I started making too much to contribute. Started maxing out my 457 at 51.
Am now 53.

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Toons
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Re: What age did you start maxing out your retirement contributions?

Post by Toons » Fri Jan 29, 2016 4:15 am

Around age 45 :happy
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Re: What age did you start maxing out your retirement contributions?

Post by madbrain » Fri Jan 29, 2016 4:27 am

Twenty.

Carl53
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Re: What age did you start maxing out your retirement contributions?

Post by Carl53 » Fri Jan 29, 2016 6:40 am

Late 20s, when the limit was $2000 per year (think 80's) to an IRA. In later years we did not max out them. Paying off the house, and paying for offspring's college expenses out of cash was a conscious decision. Since I retired the last year of college expenses its worked out great. I have more or less maxed out part time retirement contributions since retirement, or at least to the level that I deemed worthwhile. For awhile my part time retirement gig offered a horrible Simple IRA, to which I contributed 4% to get the 3% match. Later I bumped it up to 86% when it became a somewhat better 401k with a 4% match.

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Re: What age did you start maxing out your retirement contributions?

Post by Sidesummy » Fri Jan 29, 2016 7:49 am

25 : Got the match on my 401k, brute force pay down of student loans to the beat of $2000/month (took 1.2 years to pay all)
26 : Finished the student loans, Maxed Roth IRA, Got 401k Match
27 : [currently] Maxed Roth 401k, Maxed Roth IRA (present day)
28 : [goal] Max Roth 401k, Max Roth IRA, Max HSA, excess saved wisely for future large expense such as a mortgage down payment

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Re: What age did you start maxing out your retirement contributions?

Post by JPH » Fri Jan 29, 2016 7:59 am

When I got my first real job. I was in my early 30s. There was a checkbox on the enrollment form that allowed HR to increase the withholding from my paycheck each time I got a raise to stay at the maximum. I just left it on autopilot for over 30 years.
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teen persuasion
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Re: What age did you start maxing out your retirement contributions?

Post by teen persuasion » Fri Jan 29, 2016 8:06 am

At age 42, after we paid off the mortgage early, I redirected those extra payments to max a Roth IRA for me for the previous and current year. I don't have access to a 401k. I redirected the mortgage payments to increase contributions to DH's 401k, up to maybe 55%. Next year I added maxing his Roth IRA, too.

Currently we are no longer maxing his 401k; I have shifted to maxing an HSA first. The total contributions are still higher than previously.

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Re: What age did you start maxing out your retirement contributions?

Post by KlangFool » Fri Jan 29, 2016 8:30 am

1) Max Trad. 401K after first real job.

2) Max Trad. 401K and 2 X Roth IRAs after 40 when I know I can get money out of Roth IRA before 59 1/2.

3) Max Trad. 401K, 2 X Roth IRA, and HSA when employer start offering HDRP/HSA a few years ago

My wife was a homemaker. So, only one Trad. 401K account. Please note that I save substantial amount of money in taxable account too. And, I do not believe the concept of "retirement". I am saving for Financial Independence.

I am a life time approximately 30+% gross income saver.

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MikeWillRetire
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Re: What age did you start maxing out your retirement contributions?

Post by MikeWillRetire » Fri Jan 29, 2016 8:32 am

I'm 53 and I still don't max them out. Private school and college tuition prevented that. Luckily, I will get a modest pension to supplement my 401k and social security.

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Re: What age did you start maxing out your retirement contributions?

Post by crit » Fri Jan 29, 2016 8:37 am

At 40, when I got my first 'real' job (academic research), income increased by 50%, sent it straight to 403b.

Our living habits didn't change, and our cost of living went down, so money started piling up. A down payment just appeared, I swear.
After we bought the house, more money piled up, and I started to pay attention to where it all was, and that's what brought me here.

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Re: What age did you start maxing out your retirement contributions?

Post by livesoft » Fri Jan 29, 2016 8:39 am

In the early 1980's when the limit of IRA contributions was $2,000 is back when I started maxing out retirement contributions.

Limitations were low enough that maxing at 10% of salary was possible. Limits increased slowly, but even so, many companies had a 15% limit to contribute to the employer-sponsored 401(k)/403(b) plan.

Times have changed, haven't they?
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Re: What age did you start maxing out your retirement contributions?

Post by Flashes1 » Fri Jan 29, 2016 8:40 am

Wife & I started maxing out 401k's when I was 37 and she was 30.

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Re: What age did you start maxing out your retirement contributions?

Post by 2Birds1Stone » Fri Jan 29, 2016 8:47 am

Last year when SO was 24 and I was 28

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Re: What age did you start maxing out your retirement contributions?

Post by gmc4h232 » Fri Jan 29, 2016 9:27 am

I maxed both 401k and Roth IRA out the first full year of my first real job starting at age 24 while I was still single and had minimal living expenses. I switched jobs at 28, and cut back on 401k some. I was married by that time. I'm now 30 and my wife and I have maxed out our Roth IRAs for 2016 and are on track to max out both of our 401ks this year.

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Re: What age did you start maxing out your retirement contributions?

Post by flyingbison » Fri Jan 29, 2016 9:29 am

Never have, never will.

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Re: What age did you start maxing out your retirement contributions?

Post by Clever_Username » Fri Jan 29, 2016 10:21 am

2012, shortly after my 29th birthday, was the first year I maxed out a workplace retirement plan -- I hadn't had them before (except once as an intern for some reason when I was in school). I got that job in the summer and maxed it out promptly. Felt like a pay raise in January when I got set to max it out in 2013 over a long period of time :-)

Been maxing out IRA of various sorts since 2011.
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Re: What age did you start maxing out your retirement contributions?

Post by stoptothink » Fri Jan 29, 2016 10:23 am

Was able to do it as an individual starting at age 22, lasted a few years before I got married. Now at 34, we are not quite there yet. Could easily do it if we weren't making double payments on a 15yr mortgage. At the latest, should be able to do it in 4yrs when we no longer have to pay for childcare - and the mortgage should almost be done.

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Re: What age did you start maxing out your retirement contributions?

Post by DwightCD » Fri Jan 29, 2016 11:13 am

At 30 we maxed out both of our 401(k)s, H.S.A.s, and Roth IRAs. Tax advantaged FTW.

Keep in mind, though, when trying to compare to others, everyone's situation is different. Some people are paying down student loans at a good clip, some folks don't have employer sponsored retirement plans, some people become "major savers" later on, someone might be taking care of a loved one, whatever the case may be. Plus, someone making $75k combined maxing everything out is a much bigger accomplishment than someone making $500k combined.
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Re: What age did you start maxing out your retirement contributions?

Post by Andyrunner » Fri Jan 29, 2016 11:19 am

28 about. I'm 31 now.

Only max out my 403b. Don't contribute to IRA because I have a nice pension and rather pay off mortgage.

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Re: What age did you start maxing out your retirement contributions?

Post by investingdad » Fri Jan 29, 2016 11:25 am

Both my wife and I were doing this starting around 23 or 24.

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Re: What age did you start maxing out your retirement contributions?

Post by TheRightKost87 » Fri Jan 29, 2016 11:25 am

I'm not married, so only have 1 401k and 1 IRA to max out each year. From college graduation to age 25 I was paying off my student loan debt.

Age 25: I found Bogleheads and maxed Roth IRA, and began chipping a little in to 401k.

Last year (age 27) I maxed both Roth IRA and Traditional 401k for the first time and hope to continue to do so going forward, however as others have stated I imagine when I get married and buy a house that it may be more difficult to do so right away. If not for Bogleheads I'd probably be chipping some in to my 401k but certainly not maxing, and I probably wouldn't even know what an IRA was.
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Re: What age did you start maxing out your retirement contributions?

Post by Spirit Rider » Fri Jan 29, 2016 11:26 am

What difference does it make? I will repeat my often stated mantra. Maxing out fixed arbitrary maximums is an irrelevant metric. This continued obsession with maxing out retirement contributions is absurd.

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Re: What age did you start maxing out your retirement contributions?

Post by Gill » Fri Jan 29, 2016 11:29 am

When you talk about "maxing out" you have to remember, that for many of us who have been around a while, 401k's are a relatively recent development and I didn't have the opportunity to contribute to either IRA's or 401k's for the early part of my working career. I had the opportunity to invest in profit sharing plans and stock purchase plans and took advantage of those from the time I first became eligible.
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ensign_lee
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Re: What age did you start maxing out your retirement contributions?

Post by ensign_lee » Fri Jan 29, 2016 11:30 am

23 when I got my first steady full time gig, getting paid $60k. This was back in 2010

Was tough with the $17,500 401(k) and the $5000 Roth IRA but I figured then was the best time to do it and prevent lifestyle inflation.

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Re: What age did you start maxing out your retirement contributions?

Post by BuckyBadger » Fri Jan 29, 2016 11:39 am

For whatever its worth, We began maxing at around age 29 or 30. We pretty much went from zero to maxing in a year, since we had both been graduate students. We went from making about $20k a year to making over $100k each of us so it was easy. We maxed Roths, 401ks, and started taxable accounts earmarked for retirement and started saving over $80k a year and have done that for the last 5 years.

But that made sense for us - we were getting a late start, and with such a big jump in income, even with putting that much money away our standard of living still skyrocketed. And we want to retire early.

None of the aspects apply to everyone, of course.

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Re: What age did you start maxing out your retirement contributions?

Post by packet » Fri Jan 29, 2016 11:50 am

Another thread about how un-average the average Boglehead is ... :)

For us, we started maxing all available retirement (tax advantaged) accounts at 44.

Available accounts:
at 44 = 1 @ 403b; 2 @ IRA
at 45+ = 1 @ 403b: 2 @ IRA; HSA (fam)

At 47 today... my taxable account remains tiny, but has been building (slowly) since last year.

:beerCheers,
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Re: What age did you start maxing out your retirement contributions?

Post by jwillis77373 » Fri Jan 29, 2016 11:59 am

34 for me, had a rough life before then

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Re: What age did you start maxing out your retirement contributions?

Post by KlangFool » Fri Jan 29, 2016 12:10 pm

Spirit Rider wrote:What difference does it make? I will repeat my often stated mantra. Maxing out fixed arbitrary maximums is an irrelevant metric. This continued obsession with maxing out retirement contributions is absurd.
Spirit Rider,

I agree. Saving as a percentage of the gross income is a more relevant metric.

KlangFool

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Re: What age did you start maxing out your retirement contributions?

Post by ponyboy » Fri Jan 29, 2016 12:58 pm

When I was 27...both roth and 401k. Now 32...they have grown nicely.

My salary has never been over $62k...if I can do it almost anyone can do it! Live below your means.

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Re: What age did you start maxing out your retirement contributions?

Post by remomnyc » Fri Jan 29, 2016 1:23 pm

I started maxing at 31, when I got my first job with a 401k plan, which I have maxed out since. My first contribution was 24% of my salary. I added max IRA contributions to the 401k at age 39.

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Re: What age did you start maxing out your retirement contributions?

Post by BW1985 » Fri Jan 29, 2016 1:26 pm

24 when I found this website. :sharebeer

Now just waiting on my wife's permanent residency so we can open a spousal IRA for her and max that too.
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hnzw rui
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Re: What age did you start maxing out your retirement contributions?

Post by hnzw rui » Fri Jan 29, 2016 2:46 pm

Probably never.

Available retirement accounts
mandatory pension: 10% of base pay (pre-tax)
supplemental annuity: $53,000 (post-tax)
457b: $18,000 (can be pre-tax or Roth)
IRA: 5,500 (non-deductible/Roth)

Need $112K gross income solely to pay for taxes and fully fund the above accounts (with pre-tax 457b). That's around $88K for retirement accounts with the rest going to taxes. There'd be nothing left for food, shelter, utilites, etc.

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Re: What age did you start maxing out your retirement contributions?

Post by ks289 » Fri Jan 29, 2016 3:04 pm

age 28

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Re: What age did you start maxing out your retirement contributions?

Post by HornedToad » Fri Jan 29, 2016 3:18 pm

My wife and I don't. We max out 401ks and between that plus employer match it's around $50k/year. That's more than sufficient for us so with remainder we spend on other things: mortgage, trips, savings, etc.

Depending on how the future goes, we'll consider maxing out ROTH IRA if we end up with money that we don't know what else to do with then we'll put in Roth IRAs, but for now that hasn't been the case.

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Re: What age did you start maxing out your retirement contributions?

Post by Philociraptor » Fri Jan 29, 2016 3:20 pm

Started maxing both of our IRA's at 22, started maxing both 401(k)'s at 26 + started investing in taxable as well.

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Re: What age did you start maxing out your retirement contributions?

Post by herpfinance » Fri Jan 29, 2016 3:42 pm

At 29 but I would have done it earlier if I had discovered the importance of investing sooner.
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Re: What age did you start maxing out your retirement contributions?

Post by Doohop65 » Fri Jan 29, 2016 3:58 pm

I maxed out my 401k and Roth for the first time at 29 and my dw was 34.

We were once working harder at paying down our house but have since slowed that process down to regular payments.

We have opted to work on the kids 529 instead of taxable at this point but may switch gears at some point.

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Re: What age did you start maxing out your retirement contributions?

Post by Miguelito » Fri Jan 29, 2016 4:03 pm

We are an average of 28yo when we maxed out our 401k's. A year later we started maxing out back door IRA's (though we could not do the conversion until a few years later).

Twins Fan
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Re: What age did you start maxing out your retirement contributions?

Post by Twins Fan » Fri Jan 29, 2016 4:06 pm

I'll let you know when I get there. :happy

42 here and max out the Roth IRA each year, but come up a few thousand short of maxing my 457b each year. I could probably set my contributions to max it out and make up the difference for bills/expenses out of savings, but not quite comfortable doing that just yet. I'm almost there though.

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Re: What age did you start maxing out your retirement contributions?

Post by LateStarter1975 » Fri Jan 29, 2016 4:19 pm

Since 2013, have been maxing out Roth IRA for both spouse and I (age 38)
In 2015, at age 40, I maxed my 401K for the first time (also maxed out a 457b as well as the Roths)
Hopefully, I can now continue with the trend above.......have a lot of catching up to do

PS: I joined Bogleheads in 2013 and that really started my investing journey. So glad I found this forum
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N1CKV
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Re: What age did you start maxing out your retirement contributions?

Post by N1CKV » Fri Jan 29, 2016 4:39 pm

I'm not there yet at 36. No point when I'm still able to fly below the top of the 15% marginal bracket and I have a pension.
I have met a lot of people that claim to love money, but they also seem to be the same people that are in the biggest hurry to get rid of it.

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Re: What age did you start maxing out your retirement contributions?

Post by MnD » Fri Jan 29, 2016 5:05 pm

Likely never and we've been saving and investing for almost 30 years.
2.X years of work to go and all the retirement calculators say we are on track with our current savings rate.
With an average outcome our discretionary financial standard of living will go up almost 40% with a mid-50's retirement.

"Maxing everything out" would have certainly meant not having many fabulous experiences together in our 20's and together with the kids in our 30's, 40's and now early 50's. I have had similar-age friends and associates die and others develop problems that are or will be very lifestyle limiting in the future. Don't bank everything on a future that may never materialize. :beer
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Re: What age did you start maxing out your retirement contributions?

Post by rmelvey » Fri Jan 29, 2016 5:10 pm

Started maxing out my 401K + ROTH + HSA this year at age 24. I am able to do this because I rent and am not saving up a down payment for a home. Taxes are so high in NYC it's nice to know that I am doing everything in my power to get it lower.

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Tamarind
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Re: What age did you start maxing out your retirement contributions?

Post by Tamarind » Fri Jan 29, 2016 5:17 pm

Maxed my Roth IRA starting at age 21.
Maxed my HSA starting at age 28 (first year I knew what they were).
Intending to max my 401(k) this year at 29.

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Re: What age did you start maxing out your retirement contributions?

Post by LiterallyIronic » Fri Jan 29, 2016 5:24 pm

Have yet to max a single Roth IRA, but hopefully this year. At least max two Roth IRAs and ideally put ~$10,000 more into a 401k. Currently age 32.

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Re: What age did you start maxing out your retirement contributions?

Post by GMan82 » Fri Jan 29, 2016 5:41 pm

Only had access to Roth IRA during residency. Maxed it one year at age 30 and partially at age 31 and 32. Now I'm a new attending physician with access to 403b, Roth IRA through backdoor, and HSA. I'm 33 now and started in September of 2015 at age 32. Because of this website, I funneled cash over to max them all out for 2015 and am on track to do the same for this year. I guess 32 is the first year I got to max all that was allowed. I'm funneling cash into an emergency fund now tol and did that concurrently with the investments. I feel good.

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