Front-Load Your IRA For Biggest Payoff

By Arielle O’Shea

Happy New Year! Do you have $5,500 to spare?

It’s an uncomfortable question, especially if your credit card is still smoking from last month. There’s no hangover quite like a holiday financial hangover.

But I ask because that’s the amount it takes to fully fund a traditional or Roth IRA for a year, and there’s a lot of value — a five-digit value — in front-loading your contributions.

“By front-loading, you end up with almost a third more after 10 years,” says Dan Egan, Betterment’s director of behavioral finance and investing. Egan found that only in individual years with serious market crises — the Great Depression, the dot-com bust — did early investors fail to earn a premium.

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This article originally published January 11th, 2017 on Forbes.