How to Set Aside More Money For Retirement in 2015

by Miranda Marquit · 5 comments


Every year, the IRS evaluates inflation and other items and decides how much savers can sock away in tax-advantaged retirement accounts. Coming in 2015, there will be higher limits for 401(k) accounts, and the income level for IRA phaseouts will also increase.*

This means you have the chance to put away more for retirement, even if you’re already maxing out your retirement contributions. Here are the details on how you can save more money for your future.

What Are the New Retirement Limits?

The IRS doesn’t usually make big changes to its contribution limits, so this is a nice surprise. Indeed, for the 401(k) and similar accounts, the new contribution limit will be $18,000, up from $17,500. Additionally, those who are 50 ages or older can make extra “catch up” contributions of $6,000 each year — an increase from $5,500.

Those (like me) who contribute to IRAs aren’t quite so fortunate. There is no increase from the $5,500 limit right now, and the “catch up” contribution of $1,000 remains steady as well.

There is, however, a bit of a bone thrown out there. The deduction phaseout on the Traditional IRA starts at $61,000 for singles and $98,000 for those married filing jointly. On a Roth IRA, the income limits for contributors is also on the rise, up to $131,000 for singles and $193,000 for those married filing jointly.

So, even though the contribution limit hasn’t gone up, you might be able to hold out and contribute for another year if you’re approaching high-earner status.

How Can You Find Extra Money?

Of course, the vast majority of workers don’t actually care that much about these limits because it’s not always practical for them to set aside the maximum amount for retirement each year. If you make $45,000 a year, setting aside $18,000 — almost half your income — doesn’t seem feasible.

But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t boost your retirement contributions for the coming year. In fact, when the IRS announces the increase of retirement contribution limits, we can use this as a good reminder to increase our own yearly contribution.

The IRS is allowing for an extra $500 for 401(k) accounts! So put plans in place to increase your own contribution by $500 in 2015. It doesn’t even have to be that difficult. If you can find an extra $41.67 in your budget each month, you can improve your annual contribution by $500.

When you break it down that way, it seems more doable. In fact, chances are, you could free up an extra $100 each month in your budget, and increase your yearly contribution by $1,200. If you aren’t maxing out your 401(k), do whatever you can to increase your contribution as much as possible.

Can You Set Aside More Than the Max?

If you aren’t able to contribute any more to a tax-advantage retirement account because you are maxed out, it can still make sense to set aside more for retirement.

You might qualify for a Health Savings Account, or you could even put some money in a taxable investment account. No matter how you do it, it makes sense to set aside more money for retirement in the coming year.

So take a minute today to contact your 401(k) administrator or your retirement account manager, and set up higher contributions for the coming year!

Are the new contribution limits good news for you? How are going to find extra money in your budget to put towards retirement in 2015?


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  • Aaron says:

    You mention “It’s much easier to max out a contribution of $5,000 than it is to max out a contribution of $18,000 — even if you receive a limited employer match on your 401(k).”

    Just a FYI… $18,000 is the limit you can personally contribute. Any employer match does not count towards the limit. Its just extra!

    • David @ says:

      Good catch Aaron. You are right – the employee portion is $18,000 and that doesn’t change no matter how much the employer contributes to the plan on your behalf.

    • jim says:

      Wait! You mean I can actually contribute $18K myself into my 401? Regardless of my employer’s contribution?

  • Gretchen says:

    One of our goals for 2015 is to max our or IRA contribution, so this is the perfect article for me! It will definitely be tough, because $18,000 is more than half my take-home pay, but I’m looking at ways to increase our income!

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