2020 Challenge: Race to the max!

This challenge thread is a race to max out your retirement accounts in 2020! If saving 20% or $20,000 isn’t enough of a challenge, then you might want to try this challenge!

@anomalily said she’ll give the same sticker as the 20 in 2020 challenges to anyone who completes this one!

Basic rules

  • The goal is to max out your available retirement accounts in the 2020 calendar year
  • The sooner you hit the max, the sooner you complete the challenge and the sooner you get the forum badge and sticker!

What do you get

  • Support on this thread as you go along - post monthly or quarterly check-ins as appropriate
  • A forum badge when you complete your savings goal for the year
    • e.g. if you reach the max in June, you’ll get a forum badge marked “June”
  • A sticker mailed to you when you complete your goal for the year

How to participate

  • Post in this thread and state the retirement accounts available to you and their limits*
  • Share your plan for maxing them out
  • Share updates on your progress and announce when you’re done!

Contribution limits

I’ll pop in here! I’m tracking in the $20k thread, but since one of my goals is maxxing an account, figured why not play here too. :wink:

I have a 401k ($19,500 USD, no match), HSA ($3,550 USD, half contributed by my employer), and a Roth IRA ($6,000 USD), for a total of $29,050 (!!!).

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I’m in! Especially since this was my goal in the other thread anyway. Hopefully maxing 401k for the first time ever, also maxing HSA but that’s something I’ve done for several years (and then spent it down, built it back up again, spent it down, etc. Hopefully no expensive medical stuff for a while though.)

You reminded me about the HSA limit and looking at my most recent pay stub I may have [edit: definitely did] already over contributed to my HSA for the year because I forgot to account for the employer contribution (which does count towards the limit). Bah. Not a huge deal, just annoying.

Employer contributions to HSAs count towards the $3,550 limit in 2020.
Employer contributions to 401ks do not count towards the $19,500 limit in 2020. In my case since I have 26 paychecks in a year 19,500/26 = $750 per paycheck towards my 401k so it’s an even amount year-round.


I’m in the US and have a W2 job, so I have a 401k available through work. The 2020 contribution limit is $19,500. I’ll also max out my Roth IRA ($6,000) for a total of $25,600

I’m planning on maxing out my 401k as fast as possible in 2020. I’m going to crank up my 401k contribution through payroll to the limit (85% of my paycheck), and wait until I hit the limit, then set the contribution to 0% for the rest of the year.

Of course this means I’ll be getting very small paychecks the first few months, but then the rest of the year the paychecks will be larger than they would have been with a uniform contribution amount through the year, which is kind of fun.


Good luck to all! I’m (mostly) out, with more available tax advantaged space than gross income. We will max the family HSA, and maybe IRAs.

403b ($19,500 + $6,500 catch-up because old)
457k (same as above)
IRAs (regular for me and spousal for him)- ($6,000+$1,000 catch-up) * 2
HSA family plan ($7,000)

All that adds up to a whopping $73,000 in tax-advantaged space. Wish I could share it with someone else who could use it.


Alright, since I fucked up my HSA already this year and was sending a form to change it to zero I went ahead and changed my 401k also. My take home pay is only going down by a tiny bit after all that.

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Our limit is 50% but I have to get all my contributions in before my job end date in early May. I’m not sure if I’ll hit the $19,500 (depends on the annual bonus amount in Feb) but am gonna get as much in as I can!


I am in!

Between Mr. Ninja and I we have the following to max out:

  • 2 x 401k accounts
  • 2 x IRA accounts
  • 1 x Family HSA ($7100)

Total: $58,100

Plan: both of us have set our contributions to max out retirement and HSA accounts by November 2020 ($1780/month/person for 401k and $645/month for me for the HSA). We also have set up a monthly contribution to pull from our savings account for $1000/month to go to the IRA’s.

We plan to look at our spending on a monthly basis to ensure plan is on track and that spending is staying in control. We plan to keep food bills low by cooking at home and take less extravagant trips next year to achieve this goal.


Looks like this one makes the most sense for me. My company finally got around to enabling the mega-backdoor roth so I’m aiming at that next year along with an individual HSA, standard backdoor roth (this one doesn’t really count since I’ll fund it from this year’s taxable savings), and ESPP. Currently in an argument with HR about the meaning of the word ‘total’ that may affect whether I can actually hit the max or will need to leave a buffer (annoying), but I should be able to get close.


I’m tentatively in! Lots of things are up in the air job-wise, but assuming I stay in my current role for the first few months of the year, I will set my 401k contributions to the max allowed to try and get as much as possible in there before possibly quitting.

I’m not planning to count HSA or Roth contributions since we max those out by the end of each year because they get equal contributions each month. I can’t change that with the HSA. I could change the Roth contribution schedule but am not willing to since the current system is working fine. :slight_smile:


All right, officially making mine ‘within roughly $1000 of the max’ for the mega backdoor because although HR has finally agreed with my interpretation of ‘total,’ apparently their way of dealing with any accidental overage due to a now post-end-of-year match (that somehow still applies to the previous year) is to throw up their hands and tell me that I get to sort it out with the IRS. Since I have exactly zero desire to do any such thing, I’m going to live with leaving a buffer and being annoyed.


Sure - sign me up!

Probably $18k for rrsp, $6k for tfsa

I put my work profit sharing directly into rrsps, as well as health benefits. Since I’m covered under SO I don’t get benefits but instead I can put the allocated funds into rrsps. I adjust my biweekly rrsps once I know the profit sharing to make sure I don’t exceed my limit. In March I should have an update to provide actual numbers.

TFSA will get biweekly payments and max out in December.

I have been maxing for about 5 years now for both. The strategy for me is having it all taken off my paycheque before I get it, and watching closely to adjust for when I get close to maxing to ensure I don’t over pay. I like that the rrsp is also taken off before taxes, so it gets a little bit extra growth.

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Just upped my 401k contribution to the limit of 85%!

I forgot to do this on the 1st which would have been smart, so we’ll see if they make the change in time for my first paycheck or not.


I assume if your employer provides a 401k match it will true up at the end of the year? Mine did not; I only received a match for the pay periods I contributed, so I had to spread my contributions out through the year. Annoying.

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Mine does not sadly, so I have no idea.

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Wow, I’m jealous you can go that high! The highest I’ve been allowed is 50% but my current employer only allows 30% so it’s going to be a stretch to get it maxed out before I quit in a couple months!

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401k already updated before New Years since maxing out 2019 wasn’t going to be an issue. Just sent the form yesterday for HSA, hopefully it will be in time for the first paycheck of the year.

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I’m jumping in. My goal is to max 401k and Roth so $25,500. I wont max out until the end of the year though as I don’t want to miss out on the 3% match.


I’m in for a challenge! There’s a lot up in the air for me right now too, and with projected income this is possible, but might preclude any other savings, which I might decide isn’t worth it. I also want to back max out our ROTH IRAs for 2019 as we had a very low earning year and will pay ludicrously low taxes.

  • 2019 ROTH IRA x 2: $12,000 (might not get there by April 15, but is the first priority, have already contributed some, but not a ton)
  • 2020 401k x 2: $39,000 (currently I’m contributing 6% +3% match, Mr Darling is currently unemployed but should be receiving a job offer next week; once I’ve maxed last years IRA or hit April 15th I’ll bump up my contributions to whatever will get me maxed out by the end of the year)
  • 2020 IRA x 2: $12,000
  • 2020 HSA: $7,100 (stretch goal, currently contributing some but not enough to max it out)
  • Total: $70,100

This seems like a ludicrous amount of money, but this is my first year out of grad school earning more than $30k and Mr Darling’s job offer is projected to come in somewhere between “that’s a lot of money” and “holy shit are you sure.” We’re also living in a new (expensive) city and our expenses are way higher than ever before, which makes any sort of FIRE calculation newly scary. We need to rebuild our emergency savings, so that might interfere with maxing all this out as well, but I’m excited to try!


401k set to max.

HSA now set to max (HR was a little slow but it shall work!)

Roth IRA is partially funded, 2230.75/6000.

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