Thinking about opening a Roth IRA

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I think I was pretty ignorant about the Roth IRA or Roth 401k until recently years. Some friends talked about Backdoor Roth IRA a few years ago. Around the same time (Sept 2021), I noticed my employer 401 k plan has a Roth option. Before that I already worked in the USA for about 21 years: I did contribute to 401k plan earlier on and also have some traditional IRA plans (savings). In addition to those, I have HSA and 529 plan for my daughters too (both are not significant) compared to 401k and IRAs.

I am aware of some difference between the Roth IRA and traditional IRA, partially due to the widely published article about Ted Weschler, investment manager of Berkshire Hathaway, grew his personal Roth IRA many many times over a long period of time. Below is quoted from Dr. David Kass’s blog post, link above.

Weschler, extrapolating from numbers that I sent him, said that if you’d put the $70,535 that he had in his IRA at year-end 1989 into Vanguard’s S&P index fund, you’d have had more than $1.6 million as of June 30.

(The exact number, Vanguard confirmed, was $1,636,238.)

“That $1.6 million,” he says, “drives some very simple advice: start early, maximize the (employer) match, invest 100 percent in equities, and ignore all the other noise.”

A quick refresher, roth ira vs traditional ira comparison, by fidelity.

Also, NerdWallet, 401k vs IRA (both traditional and Roth) by Schwab

NerdWallet: Roth IRA Contribution and Income Limits 2023-2024

Robinhood Gold and IRA boost: I just noticed the small print (italics below)

Not a recommendation to transfer or rollover. 3% match requires Robinhood Gold (subscription fee applies). Keep Gold for 1 year and the IRA for 5 years. Other terms apply.

Also, I just saw the blow from their email:

For the 2023 tax year, you’d earn $195 on a maximum $6,500 contribution by April 15, 2024.
For the 2024 tax year, you can still earn $210 on a maximum $7,000 contribution through April 15, 2025.
Subscription fee and terms apply.

I am thinking: for most people, do what you need to do in terms of what to save, where to save, what to invest, don’t try to get the 3% match at any cost. I heard the RobinHood Gold has a cost (it’s not a high cost, but it seems to me they are trying to promoting something that may not be suitable for me).

How much does Robinhood Gold cost: let’s just say $50 per year.

PS: I think HSA again is a potential sleeper that can do quite a few things for us down the road (thinking investing in S&P 500 index fund instead of just put it in a CD or money market like fund).

Also, new 529 plan rules make it more attractive too – something I need to read and think about it more.

PS 2: Over the years, I have seen two people who are likely in their 70s worked at Panera Bread (St. Louis Bread Co. here in STL), one lady worked at the Bread Co. at Chesterfield (Olive and WoodsMill), another gentleman at the New Ballas Road (near Olive, he may still works there). And I just came across this story – So last October, at the age of 80, Murray ended her retirement and got a job giving out samples at Costco. Honestly, this is something I am trying to avoid for myself and my wife. Working for fun and working for food/medicine are two quite different things.

Sometimes I cross posting, and sometimes I posted on social media but I forgot where I exactly posted (I spent probably one hour trying to looking for this on Twitter/X), but I just found it at FB. I posted below on FB on 03-09-2016.


So I was at Sam’s club, tasting the free salmon sample. The lady passing out the Salmon said something funny “Being a Mizzou journalist graduate, I know how to propaganda”. Something like that. It sounds like she lost Journalist job. An old couple who complimented the salmon and the lady’s cooking (there is really not too much cooking because the main task was to warm it up, I think), said their daughter who is in graphic design, lost job since last July. I know it’s probably very difficult for journalists these days amid the new media etc (traditional media lost all the Ads revenue). My previous 2 jobs were in two industries that were both seriously affected by the government polices, luckily my skill can be transferred to other industry. I believe the two people can look at other relatively stable industry as well, as their skills can also transfer: good communication, writing and graphical design skills are always in demand. This is my chicken soup of the day.


Also, How to Convert to a Roth IRA

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