An expert says that toddlers could be on their way to becoming millionaires by the time they can vote, and will never have to rely on Social Security to retire — provided their parents are savvy enough to open IRAs for them when they’re still in nursery school.
Chris Carosa, financial author and journalist, as well as president of Carosa Stanton Asset Management in Rochester, N.Y. who also writes for BenefitsPRO, has an idea that he believes in enough that he’s written a book about it. The notion? A Child IRA.
The idea isn’t without its obstacles, particularly since one can’t contribute to an IRA unless one has earned income. And it’s tough to go out in search of a paycheck when you’re still in diapers.
Still, it’s not an impossible obstacle—and Carosa says that a child whose parent is foresighted enough to launch that IRA will be a multi-millionaire by the time they retire at age 70—and never have to depend on Social Security.
Says Carosa, “Ideally, the Child IRA represents a combination of the power of compounding found in 401(k) plans with the flexible contribution possibilities of a 529 plan. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if states take the lead on this (like they did with 529 plans) by possibly extending the allowable use of 529 funds to include retirement (past age 59½) in addition to education.”
Of course, it’s a tall order to think that government might unite behind much of anything these days, but it’s not impossible.
By identifying real jobs that even infants (think diaper commercials) and toddlers (dancing with teddy bears, anyone?) can hold, or figuring out what jobs in a family business a child might actually be able to perform (perhaps posing with company products for advertising), parents and grandparents can put the power of compounding to work for their little ones so that by the time the kids are ready to exit their teens, they’ve already got a solid nest egg stashed away.
Then there’s the benefit to advisors. Carosa points out, “What surprised me the most was how financial services providers see the Child IRA as a tool for enhancing their preexisting relationships with small business owners as well as family-owned and closely-held firms. What executive/owner of these firms wouldn’t want to help their children and grandchildren be multimillionaires by the time they retire?”
Carosa is so convinced the Child IRA can help solve the retirement problem that he’s devoted his sixth book to it: From Cradle to Retirement—The Child IRA—How to Start a Newborn on the Road to a Comfortable Retirement While Still in a Cozy Cradle is set for release next month. Its Kickstarter campaign also hopes to encourage financial professionals to contribute reviews and chapter introductions to the finished product.