Borrowing Money To Fund Retirement

Have you considered borrowing some money to fund your retirement? I’m talking about borrowing some money, perhaps via a 0% balance transfer from a credit card, so that you can contribute more towards either a 401K or an IRA. You might be thinking that borrowing money in order to invest it is a risky proposition, and it is, but if you’re only borrowing it for a short period of time and because you want to get the money now so you can contribute it before April 17th (in the example of an IRA), I think that the risk may be OK. Just be sure to remember that any benefits are almost 100% negated if you begin to carry that balance at a typical credit rate.

So, the scenario I’m painting is this… it’s March and practically near the deadline to contribute to an IRA but you don’t have enough cash to open up an IRA without being hit with low balance fees. Or it could be that you have an IRA but you’re a thousand dollars short of hitting the limit and you’d really like to max it out. Either way, you’ll have enough by the end of the April or May to fully fund it so you decide to get a 0% balance transfer or borrow some money from family in order to fully contribute to the IRA for 2006. I think in that specific scenario, it’s okay (I’d hit up family before the credit cards) as long as you believe you’re disciplined enough to pay off the debt. If you start to pay interest on it, you’ve already lost.

I think that in any other situation, you should avoid borrowing money in order to fund your retirement. The risks versus the rewards just don’t make sense.







2 responses to “Borrowing Money To Fund Retirement”

  1. That’s an interesting idea. My wife and I still have some space under our 2006 roth contributions. I’m pretty timid about even going into our emergency fund in order to finish off the contributions, so I’m pretty sure I would never borrow to fund them. I’m just not much for the risk. I can see the strategy paying off, but there is also a risk that something will happen and then, as you point out, you’ve lost any of the benefits )and then some?). As with everything in investing, it is all about risk/reward.