I opened my first retirement account this week!
I am now the proud owner of an E-Trade Roth IRA account. It even has a cute little nickname: "Roth IRA".
Why am I so excited? Because this is the first step to the financial empowerment that I am craving for my life.
A common recurring theme in personal finance is retirement savings. From tax classes (shudder), I learned the differences between a 401(k), a traditional IRA, and a Roth IRA. I know about their contribution and withdrawal rules. What I didn't know was that I could have opened a Roth IRA account the moment I started working in freshman year! That bit of information I learned from reading one of the personal finance articles that I came across.
I do plan to contribute to my 401(k) and IRAs once I graduate and start working, but had I known sooner about the Roth IRA sooner, I wouldn't have missed out on almost four years of savings and potential growth! It's okay. Lesson learned.
I wasted no time doing my research. I didn't want to spend a lot of money for an initial deposit, and most of places I looked at required at least $1,000 with minimum monthly contributions. I wanted none of that. Luckily, I found E-Trade.
My savings account is linked so that it transfers $20 to my IRA every month. I'm keeping the amount low for now because I'm anticipating a lot of costs related to graduating and big life changes in the coming months. When I start working full time, the contributions will definitely be higher, and I will eventually have enough to actually invest. For now, the $20 transfers will hang tight for a while.