It was one of my big goals to open an IRA by age 26. For those of you who are younger than that, save even earlier if you can! I wish saving for retirement would have been on my radar sooner, but I was not deeply invested in learning about finances yet. I instead racked up personal debt all while taking out loans during graduate school. It was a double whammy, and yes, I’m still paying back loans every month!
Still, I kept that promise to myself, opening my IRA in January of this year, 5 months before I turned 26. Here are a few reasons why I did it and why you should too:
1. It was so easy!
Setting up a retirement fund really did sound complicated. It would have been much easier to have one matched by my work, but since I live out of the country right now, they don’t have the same programs as they do in the States. So, armed with very little knowledge, I asked my husband and my father-in-law for advice about what funds to invest in. Instead of just telling me the answer, they showed me the best one and backed their advice with statistics from the past few decades. This made me much more confident in my choice. Then, all I had to do was click my mouse a few times, and I was able to open it and fund it directly from my account. Easy as pie.
2. I don’t have to contribute that much.
The reason I wanted to start my retirement fund before I turned 26 is because there are all sorts of great graphs out there about how you can save a million dollars if you start investing at age 25. I could put in 200-300 dollars a month to get close to this goal as long as my portfolio is balanced. Instead, I’m trying to max out my IRA, which comes to just over $450.00 a month. At that rate, even without a company match, I should be able to retire at 65 comfortably (barring any major disasters.)
3. It makes me feel proactive.
I still have so much to learn about personal finance. Despite writing about it solidly for the past few years, there are many things I would love to become more knowledgeable about. Investing in my own future makes me feel proactive, and it also makes me want to learn more. I don’t want to be the type of person who sits there idle waiting for someone else to tell me which funds to buy. I want to know enough to make these decisions on my own. There are so many books I want to read to contribute to my knowledge on this topic, and I can’t wait to delve into it even further.
I know I’m not the only young person who is trying to save as much as they can for retirement. So, please let me know your plans and your age when you first started saving. Is there anything you wish you would have done differently?
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