If you dropped the ball on your retirement goals in 2022, you have a few more days to redeem yourself. You can contribute to a Roth IRA (individual retirement account) until the tax-filing deadline, which falls on April 18, 2023 this year. 

A Roth IRA is a special retirement account because it sets you up for tax-free income during retirement. If you're ready to beef up your retirement portfolio, here are a few last-minute moves you can make before the tax-filing deadline. 

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Start thinking about your goals 

Goal setting may be the last thought on your mind when thinking about retirement contributions, but it's key to creating your action plan. Although you only have a few days left to make contributions for 2022, answering the following questions will make the process easier: 

  • Do I plan to be in a higher tax bracket in the future?
  • Should I contribute to a Roth IRA or a traditional IRA?
  • How much am I eligible to contribute to a Roth IRA?
  • How will 2022 contributions get me closer to my retirement goals? 

If you expect to pay higher taxes in the future, it makes sense to contribute to a Roth IRA, which gives you the chance to pay your tax bill upfront in exchange for tax-free income later. Let's say you accumulate a million-dollar Roth IRA by the time you turn 65. All of the money in the account will be 100% tax-free, as long as you've met the requirements of the five-year rule

Thinking about your long-term goals will motivate you to take action now. Also, this opportunity may not be available to you forever. As soon as your income moves above the limits, you won't be able to make direct contributions to a Roth IRA.

If you think a Roth IRA makes sense for you, it's important to contribute as much as you can while you qualify. 

Develop your 2022 Roth IRA contribution plan 

Although you may be tempted to throw your entire paycheck into a Roth IRA, there are limits to how much you can contribute to the account every year. For 2022, you can contribute up to $6,000 to a Roth IRA if you were under 50 at the end of the year. Your contribution limit moves up to $7,000 if you were 50 or older. If you qualify, you can contribute the maximum amount to your Roth IRA for 2022. 

If you're looking for ways to contribute money to the account before the tax filing deadline, here are a few ideas: 

  • Use money in a savings account if you have a healthy balance.
  • Look out for any bonuses coming your way.
  • Reduce spending at restaurants or cut back on unnecessary subscriptions.

There's no pressure to contribute the maximum amount to your 2022 Roth IRA. Determine what makes sense based on your financial situation and contribute as much as possible. 

Review your financial situation

Before you start dumping money into your Roth IRA, take a look at your finances. You may be able to adjust your spending or earn extra money before the tax-filing deadline. Consider the following: 

  • How much income do you have coming in this month? 
  • Have you paid all your bills? 
  • Do you have an emergency fund? 
  • Are there opportunities to reduce your expenses this month? 
  • Can you make extra money this month without going over the Roth IRA income limit

Your goal is to figure out how much you can realistically tuck away in a 2022 Roth IRA without putting yourself in a financial rut. You want to make sure you've checked the box on your short-term goals before getting started.

Don't let 2022 Roth IRA contributions pass you by 

You have a unique opportunity to beef up your retirement savings by contributing to a 2022 Roth IRA. After your window of opportunity expires, you won't be able to go back and make prior-year contributions.

If a Roth IRA makes sense for you, think about how much you want to contribute and review your finances to search for extra money you can use to fund your account. Contributing to your 2022 Roth IRA can get you one step closer to the type of retirement you seek.