Welcome to one of the most exciting posts that I have ever written here on the blog. Heck, this is the most exciting post!!

Why?   The first reason is that it’s about one of my most favorite topics – the Roth IRA.

The second reason is that I’ve created an event and was able to get over 140 personal finance bloggers, media sites, and news publications on board. I can’t tell you how exciting it is to have a passion and to have so many others share that same passion with you.

Enter The Roth IRA Movement. Boo-yah!!

You’re probably wondering what the heck is this Roth IRA movement all about. Let me explain…..

For a video explanation that includes me breaking it down to LMFAO, watch the video below. :)

Can’t see video? Click here to watch it.

It all started a few weeks ago when I was asked to speak at my Alma Mater. I was speaking to a group of soon-to-be graduating seniors with about 50- 60 in attendance. In my talk I was planning to cover savings, budgeting, and investing tips that these seniors would be faced with once they hit the real world.

When I reached the investing portion of my talk, I took a poll of the students to see how many of them had heard of my most loved investment tool, the Roth IRA.

Can you guess the number?   Let me give you a hint:

Roth IRA Account Movement

All these add up to be a very small number

I was in complete shock when not one single person raised their hand.

At first I thought maybe they didn’t hear me. Maybe I had already lost their complete attention because my talk was horrible. Just to make sure, I repeated myself making sure that they heard the question.

“Have any of you ever heard of the Roth IRA?”

Unfortunately, my shock was confirmed. No one in the room knew what a Roth IRA was.

How could it be? How could it be that I was talking about one of the greatest saving tools for any young investor and not one of these 20 year-olds, not one of these young adults, had any clue what it was?

They were getting ready to start their career, start making real money for the first time in their life, yet they had no idea what the Roth IRA was. I was fearful that too much time would pass before these students started to invest and then it would be too late.

I drove home that evening wondering what I could do to make a difference. How could I actually get more people familiar with the Roth IRA and unveil all the great benefits? I remember saying out loud,

“I need to start a Roth IRA movement.”

After hearing myself, I chuckled and thought,

“What a crazy idea.”

A Crazy Idea Takes Shape

The next morning I arose to still have the same idea stuck in my head. With all the online contacts that I had, I thought it was at least worth a shot, so I started asking bloggers,

“Would you blog about the benefits of the Roth IRA all in the same day to start a Roth IRA movement?”

I was blown away at the response.  After the first day I had around 28 bloggers on board.  After the second day, I was close to 60.  By the end of the weekend, I was pushing 100.  Now we’re well over 140 and still counting.

Two words:  F.R.E.A.K.I.N.G  A.W.E.S.O.M.E.

This post is a culmination of not only my efforts, but everyone on board.

What the Roth IRA Movement is Really About

Yes, I love the Roth IRA; but this movement is more than that.   I’ve met with so many adults that are 2-3 times my age that constantly regret not saving or investing earlier.

I hear it all the time.

The most common excuse I hear is “I just didn’t know better”.

Well this movement is to make sure that young adults do know better.

The Chart That Rocked My World

Many of you that have a finance background have probably seen some variation of the chart below.   The first time I saw it in college, I was completely blown away.   What seemed like the obvious answer, was a jolt of reality of why it’s so important to start saving when you are young.   Let’s dissect it a bit……

The chart has two young adults: Super Saver Parker and Super Slacker Sloane.   Both graduate with good paying jobs and have well enough income to start contributing to a Roth IRA.

Super Saver Parker starts putting $2,000 a year into his Roth IRA ($166.67 per month).   He does this for a total of 10 years and stops for a grand total of $20,000 he put in.  Why does he stop?   Don’t ask.   That’s just part of the illustration.   :)

Super Slacker Sloane puts off saving into his Roth IRA because he wants to buy “stuff” (otherwise knows as “crap you don’t need”).  He finally gets it and starts putting $2,000 a year starting at the age of 35.   Wanting to catch Parker, he puts in $2,000 a year for 30 years contributing $60,000 in total – $40,000 more than Parker.  *We’re assuming that they both average 8% return on their money. 

After they showed this chart to me in my finance class, the question that was then asked was,

“Who will have more money at the age of 65?”

I remember my initial thought was “Duh, the guy who put in $40,000 of course!“.

Hmmm…..oh how wrong I was.

Super Saver Parker10 Years of ContributionsSuper Slacker Sloane30 Years of Contribution
Total Contributions$20,000$60,000
Ending Account Value$340,060$266,427
*BIG* Difference


The reality is that the person who started 10 years earlier had actually made $73,633 more even though they put in $40,000 less. 

And that my friends is why I want to encourage young adults to save early and to save often. The beauty of the Roth IRA is that entire $73,633 is tax-free baby. That’s right! That means:

Roth IRA Tax Free Money

And there’s nothing sweeter than tax-free money!  :)

The Roth IRA Movement Really Moves

If you’re not in your 20’s, don’t let the above chart discourage you.  It’s never too late to start investing for your future!

I was so moved by the below comment from Jessica who blogs at The Debt Princess regarding my announcement post on the Roth IRA Movement:

Bringing awareness is always good, but when you can actually inspire to take action;  man…I can’t tell you how good that feels!!

I asked Jessica to answer a few questions about what the movement meant to her:

1. What has been the biggest barriers that have prevented your from investing to this point?

Up to this point my roadblock has been lack of knowledge. I was very worried about investing because I didn’t know anything about it beyond sending my money to a 401K and forgetting about it. I also have always had debt to pay off and felt that I should focus on that.

The problem is that I’ve had debt for so long that I’m getting close to 40 and still have nothing to show for it. Finally, my income level never felt high enough to be effective in an investment so I haven’t done it.

2. What was it about the Roth IRA Movement that inspired you to finally take action?

I’ve been thinking about doing “something” recently. I have increased my income as a freelance writer and feel that I can put some money aside on a regular basis now. I trust my fellow bloggers and thought that with this movement the collective could really help me take control of this portion of my finances.

3. What advice would you give to younger investors about the importance of starting early?

I would tell young investors to avoid debt at all costs. Once you start getting into debt, you stop investing and that causes damage that can last for decades. I’d also tell them that once they do invest money, not to touch it.

I’m 37 now and kicking myself for cashing in my 401K’s each time I changed employers. I was so young and uneducated that I never realized what type of damage I was doing to my future.

Roth IRA Resources and a $5k Cash Giveaway

Before we get on to the massive list of articles, I thought it would wise to share some of the more popular articles on my site that discuss the Roth IRA.  In no particular order they are:

And for a awesome introduction to what a Roth IRA is, you have to check out this video from Kevin who blogs at Thousandaire.   I toyed with the idea my creating my own video like this, but his is too good and I would just be wasting my time.

$5,000 Cash Giveaway to Max Out Your Roth IRA

What not a better way to kick off the Roth IRA movement than to give one lucky person $5,000 cash to fully max out their IRA?  4 other bloggers and I teamed up with IRAMarket.com to do just that.

If you’re interested in entering the contest, see the $5,000 cash giveaway to find out more.  Hint: it’s free to enter!

The Roth IRA Movement Bloggers

Below is an extensive list of all the bloggers and sites that made the commitment to blog about the Roth IRA.  Without them, then post would be almost useless.  I’m humbled to have had so many step up and do their part to educate young adults on the importance of investing and the power of the Roth IRA.

    1. House of Rose: I Opened My First IRA Account. Age 22.  I even got my wife to contribute. Now that’s a movement baby!! :)
    2. Bargaineering: Tax Diversification with Roth IRAs
    3. Wall Street Steward: Roth IRA movement
    4. IRAmarket.com: On a Beach Earning 20 Percent
    5. Bible Money Matters: 10 Reasons Why I Love The Roth IRA (And Why You Should Too)
    6. Barbara Friedberg Personal Finance: YOU DON’T NEED AN IRA; THERE’S ALWAYS SOCIAL SECURITY
    7. PT Money: What is a Roth IRA and How Does it Work?
    8. Best Rates In: When You Should Consider a Roth IRA
    9. MoneyPlan SOS: Pay For the Tree or the Seed
    10. USAA Financial Advisor Blog – Scott Halliwell, CFP®: Roth IRAs: DIY Tax Control
    11. Free From Broke : Withdrawing Money From a Roth IRA: How Does It Work and When Can I Do It?
    12. Parenting Family Money: Opening a Roth IRA for a Child – Help Your Child Get Ahead in Retirement
    13. Military Retirement & Financial Independence: Starting Your Kid’s Roth IRA
    14. WorkSaveLive: Everything You Need to Know About a Roth IRA & Why to Start One
    15. USAA Financial Advisor Blog – JJ Montanaro, CFP®: Support Your Local Roth Movement
    16. ChuckRylant.com: How to Invest – The Roth IRA Movement
    17. Beating Broke:What is the Roth IRA
    18. CultOfMoney: Anyone contributing directly to a Roth IRA is stupid
    19. Evolving Personal Finance: Earned Income: The Bane of the Graduate Student’s Roth IRA
    20. My Dollar Plan: 11 Unusual Roth IRA Strategies
    21. About.com: Roth IRA for Kids
    22. Young Professional Finances: Roth IRA: My Meager Savings
    23. The University Of Money: Best Mutual Funds for IRA
    24. The Budget Works: Join the Roth IRA Movement
    25. Womack Financial Blogs: The Roth IRA
    26. This That and The MBA: Roth IRA March Madness Style!
    27. Nick from Step Away From the Mall: 2 Dumb Excuses for Not Having a Roth IRA
    28. Married (with Debt): Roth IRA Movement: What Is It?
    29. Amateur Asset Allocator: Roth IRA, How Do I Love Thee?
    30. Fat Guy, Skinny Wallet: Why a Roth IRA is better than Traditional for us
    31. RothIRA.com: Top 3 Reasons We Love the Roth IRA
    32. Your Roth IRA: 5 Reasons Why I Love My Roth IRA
    33. The Financial Mentor: The Essential Wealth Building Principle Revealed By Roth IRA Conversions (It’s Not What You Think!)
    34. Make Love, Not Debt: Roth IRA – My First Investment Account
    35. DollarVersity: Opt For A Roth IRA Now For Tax Savings Later
    36. The Single SaverIRAs Made Simple
    37. Stock Trend Investing: Why You Need a Roth IRA
    38. UPSIDEofMoney: Roth IRA movement
    39. On Target Coaching: Roth IRA:The Golden Egg in Your Retirement Nest
    40. Debt N Taxes: aROTHaclypse: Now or Later?
    41. KNS Financial/Faithful With A Few: Roth Vs Traditional IRA
    42. Social Lending Network: A Roth IRA is a Great Option for P2P Investors
    43. Novel Investor: The Roth IRA: The Piece To Your Retirement Puzzle?
    44. The Happy Homeowner: Whitney & The Roth: How Whitney Houston’s Song Titles Can Teach You Everything You Need to Know About the Roth IRA
    45. Parenting and Money: What Is A Roth IRA And Why It Might Be Good For Parents
    46. The Slott Report: Roth IRA movement
    47. Gen X Finance: Paying Taxes On a Roth IRA Conversion
    48. Smart On Money: Learn The Basics Of The Roth IRA
    49. Everything Finance: Help Your Child Open a Roth IRA
    50. Careful Cents: Investing Made Simple: A Beginners Guide to a Roth IRA
    51. America Saves: What is a Roth IRA Anyways?
    52. Faith and Finance: What is a Roth IRA and How Does It Work?
    53. Money Smart Life: How to Setup Your Dream IRA in Under 10 Minutes a Day
    54. Betterment: Why We Love Roth IRA’s
    55. The Free Financial Advisor: The Roth IRA: Like Ice Cream, But in the Tax World
    56. Planting Money Seeds: Advantages of Early Withdrawals and Your Roth IRA
    57. Young, Broke & AWESOME!: Roth IRA with soda and a twist of lime
    58. Living in Financial Excellence: The Power of Four Little Letters: R-O-T-H (Followed by IRA)
    59. Dollars and Roses: A Movement – Roth IRA Style
    60. Lauren Lyons Cole: How To Pay Taxes Like the Rich
    61. Financial Mom: Roth IRA Basics for Women
    62. Edward Antrobus: Why I Love my Roth IRA
    63. Roth IRA Calculator from @Fidelity: Roth IRA Calculator from @Fidelity
    64. Consumer Boomer: Best Places to Open a Roth IRA
    65. Really Retire: Don’t Miss the Roth IRA Deadline
    66. Life Insurance By Jeff: Join the Roth IRA Movement
    67. Get Rich Slowly: What is a Roth IRA: Short and Simple Guide
    68. The Cha Cha Chronicles: Roth IRA Movement {AKA What the What?!}
    69. The Military Wallet: Roth IRA – Why I Love It, and Why You Need One
    70. Cash Money Life: Do You Need a Roth IRA?
    71. Housewife Empire: You Can’t Fund a Roth IRA without a Joint
    72. Stupid Cents: Maxing Out the Roth IRA
    73. Personal Dividends: Join the Roth IRA Movement
    74. Moolanomy: What is a Roth IRA? Everything You Need to Know
    75. 2 Minute Finance: What is an IRA?
    76. Recommended Advisor: Tax Free Growth Through Social Media Tax Free Growth Through Social Media
    77. The Digerati Life: How A Roth IRA Conversion Can Affect College Funding
    78. Studenomics: Read This if You Want to Retire Before 70
    79. Do Not Wait: The Biggest Setback of Living Paycheck to Paycheck
    80. High Yield Savings Accounts: Retirement Planning with a Roth IRA – Why You Should Start Now
    81. GoBankingRates.com: How Roth IRAs Give Gen Y a Fighting Chance
    82. U.S. News: When to Invest Into a Roth IRA
    83. Money Ning: Why So Many Love the Roth IRA
    84. Liz Weston: Young and Broke? Open a Roth IRA.
    85. Roth Mania: Roth IRA Movement
    86. Joe TaxPayer: Roth IRA Movement
    87. Arbor Investment Planner: What’s so Great About the Roth IRA?
    88. Money Q & A: How Roth IRAs Give Gen Y a Fighting Chance
    89. Learnvest: The Movement You’ll be Glad You Joined
    90. Bankrate: Act Now and Dodge Ramen Noodles at Retirement
    91. Talking Cents Blog: Saving For Retirement with a Roth IRA
    92. The Wealth Pilgrim: What You and Your Kids Must Understand About the Roth IRA
    93. Financial Ducks in a Row: About to Graduate? Learn How to Save!
    94. Nerd’s Eye View: Roth vs Traditional: The Four Factors That Determine Which Is Best
    95. Christian PF: What is a Roth IRA and Who Needs One?
    96. WholeSale Insurance Net: What You and Your Kids Must Understand About the Roth IRA
    97. Adaptu: Roth IRA Vs. Traditional IRA
    98. Sunk Cost Are Irrelevant: The Roth IRA. For You, For Me, For Everybody
    99. Thrifty and Fit: My Biggest Financial Mistake
    100. Savvy Financial Latina: Why I Love the Roth IRA
    101. Equifax Blog: The Magic of the Roth IRA
    102. Budgets Are Sexy : Win a Chance for $5,000 to Max Out Your Roth IRA
    103. Freedom Mortgage: Join the Roth IRA Movement and Buy a Home
    104. Oregon Live: Roth IRA Super Savings
    105. Money Tree: Have You Heard about the Roth IRA Movement?
    106. Military.com: The Magic of the Roth IRA
    107. Everybody Loves Money: Why Everyone Should Have a Roth IRA
    108. Short Road to Retirement: The Roth IRA Movement
    109. Healthy Wealthy Families: The Magic of the Roth IRA
    110. Money Talk News: Regular or Roth IRA?
    111. The Silver Purse: The Movement
    112. Business Insider: The Blogosphere’s Heating Up With The Roth IRA Debate
    113. Wholesale Insurance.Net Roth IRA: How Saving Today Can Boost Your Retirement Tomorrow
    114. Multiples and Money: A Roth IRA Revolution
    115. Credit Karma: WHAT IS A Roth IRA?
    116. Money Infant: 99 Problems But a Roth Ain’t One
    117. Bucksome Boomer: To Roth or Not to Roth – an IRA Decision
    118. Don’t Mess With Taxes: Why a Roth IRA
    119. Figuring Money Out: Roth IRA Love
    120. Wall Street Journal: Happy Roth IRA Day!
    121. Don’t Quit Your Day Job: Roth IRA Movement
    122. Lazy Man and Money: Raising Awareness of the Roth IRA
    123. Financially Smitten: Accouncing Roth IRA Movement
    124. Financially Smitten: Announcing Roth IRA Movement
    125. Wisebread: Opening a Roth IRA For Your Kid
    126. Debt Princess: The Roth IRA Movement
    127. Ruben Rojas: The Roth IRA
    128. A Brigher Yellow: Roth IRA Movement
    129. Money Licious: Build Tax Free Retirement Savings Using a Roth IRA
    130. Girls Just Wanna Have Funds: Roth IRA
    131. Couple Money: How Serious Are You About Your Retirement? Open a Roth IRA.
    132. Blueleaf: 3 Tips to Help Liz Lemon Retire From 30 Rock
    133. FPA Blog: Why Invest in the Roth IRA
    134. So Over Debt: Why I Love My Roth IRA
    135. In Budgets We Trust: The Roth IRA
    136. Retirement Revised: The Roth IRA Movement – Getting on board.
    137. The Pro Advisor: The Roth IRA Movement
    138. The Oblivious Investor: Good and Bad Reasons to Contribute to a Roth IRA
    139. Punch Debt In The Face: Roth IRA Awareness
    140. Family Money Manager: 2012 IRA Contribution Limits
    141. Gather Little by Little: 3 Reasons Young People Should Think About a Roth IRA
    142. Care One Credit: Join the Roth IRA Movement


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Comments | 43 Responses

  1. says

    When I was young retirement was something that happened to old people, certainly nothing I was interested in. Even though I have always loved investing I didn’t even think about opening an IRA until after I turned 30. Big mistake. I hope the Roth IRA Movement can shine the light on the importance of retirement saving. Kudos to you, Jeff, for taking this bull by the horns. I am happy to support the Roth IRA Movement on my own blog.

  2. says

    Great job on the dance moves my friend! I may have to re-do my Roth IRA Movement video to incorporate some of my moves! My twitter stream is chocked full of Roth IRA goodness today!

  3. says

    Great job pulling this all together, Jeff. I know that it is definitely going to have an impact. We may never know just how much exactly but it will. Thanks!

  4. says

    Jeff, thanks so much for initiating the Roth IRA Movement. The more education that is out there on investing and personal finance, the better. Great video and blog post. Let’s keep up the momentum!

  5. says

    The dance moves, the facial expressions.. bhahahahah.. I’m cracking up and learning about ROTH IRA’s at the same time. Once again great job Jeff!

  6. says

    Is a Roth IRA the equivalent of a British ISA, ie tax-free savings? There are two kinds of ISA, cash (straight money into a savings account, usually with a set interest rate) and stocks and shares (investments). Is it both kinds, or just one? I know US tax breaks and pensions savings tend to be aimed more towards investments than savings, like 401ks and so on.

  7. says

    Congratulations! Your Roth IRA Movement really added value to the financial blogger community. Because it is really important to raise the awareness about smart long term investing, especially in the younger generations and Roth IRAS are the very best vehicle to do so.

  8. says

    I’m almost 35 and I’m kicking myself for not hearing about this sooner. But I’m almost thinking, “Well crap, I’ve missed the boat!”. What do you suggest we do if we didn’t start when we were in our twenties? I’m still a bit confused how the whole thing works. I know nothing about stocks, mutual funds, etc which is why I’ve not bothered with investments except for my employer’s mandatory retirement fund. It’s all so overwhelming.

  9. says

    I do not even know how I ended up here, but I
    thought this post was good. I don’t know who you are but definitely you are going to a famous blogger if you aren’t already 😉 Cheers!

  10. Mike @ Credit Flare says

    I was taught the importance of saving at a young age. I think I had over 60k in my 401k by the time I was 25. I’m 38 now, and unfortunately it took a huge hit a few years back, as did many people’s retirement funds. Currently I have a couple of standard IRA’s and a SEPIRA, but I really wish I had learned about the RothIRA years ago. I haven’t done any writing about IRA’s at Credit Flare, but I think it’s about time I do. Thanks for the inspiration. I realize the majority of Americans have a hard time making ends meet on a monthly basis, but saving any small amount is better than nothing and it will pay off greatly in the future.


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