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Greetings johannesw77:
We have $6,000 to put in and max our Roth IRA per year for my wife and I. Should I consider opening the Roth before I file my taxes this year or wait? I don't know if there are any benefits or disadvantages of doing either.

You have until April 15, 2003 to contribute to a Roth for the year 2002. The disadvantage of not making a contribution for 2002 is you lose that year to contribute. Once it's gone, it's gone for ever. Say if you wanted to contribute every year for the next 20 years up to 2021, when you'd retire. If you skip 2002, you'll only actually contribute for 19 of those years. You make this contribution for the 2002 tax year, you have that extra year back. This way, you can start saving for the 2003 tax year contribution. It may only be $3000 now, but you'll be $3000 ahead of the game.


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