7 IRA mistakes to avoid

Delaying the decision

If you feel like you’ve heard this a thousand times, it’s because it’s so important: If you haven’t already opened an IRA, the day to get started saving for retirement is today.

Not only will your savings have more time to grow, but you’ll put less stress on your monthly budget by setting a reasonable amount aside now, rather than trying to catch up at the end. You’ll also enjoy more years of tax deductions for a traditional IRA.

"It sounds obvious, but the biggest mistake with retirement saving is just simply not getting started. You procrastinate; you’re not ready to think about it, so you put things off," says Bill Pratt, a professor of finance at Virginia’s Piedmont Community College who is part of The Money Professors, a group of academic financial experts whose mission is to educate the public on personal finance.