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How Much Should I Contribute to an IRA — and How Often?

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But how do you maximize the benefits of an IRA? Here’s how much and how often to contribute to your IRA.

How much should I contribute?

In a perfect world, the answer is, as much as possible, up to the $5,500 annual maximum ($6,500 if you’re 50 or older).

However, the real world isn’t usually that simple. You may have a limited amount of money, and you may have a retirement plan at work.

The good news? IRAs can complement workplace plans like 401(k)s, or fill in for them if your employer doesn’t offer one. Here’s one way to think about divvying up your money:

Contribute enough to your 401(k) or other workplace retirement plan to get the full company match. That’s free money, sometimes dollar for dollar up to a specific percentage of your...

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