Listen Up, College Grads: It’s Time To Invest in a Roth IRA

You've made it through school, have new lifelong friends, and have managed to learn a thing or two in the process. You're about to start your young careers, take a look at some real estate, and pursue lasting relationships. The fact of the matter is, these goals require money.


The last thing on your mind is probably how you should be saving for retirement. The young adult lifestyle is often supported by the philosophy of living in the moment and being spontaneous, but adopting that philosophy from a financial point of view is not the best idea. Here's why it's a no-brainer to invest in a Roth IRA while you're young.

Kiss your taxes goodbye.

Okay, we don't mean all your taxes. What we mean is, all the money you make in a Roth IRA is tax free when you decide to take it out. (But the money going in is taxed, just so you know.)

Get your money when you need it.

Unlike traditional IRA accounts, if you ever have an emergency, want to put a down payment on a house, or want to invest in more education, you can always dip into that account if you need to. There is a slight penalty for early withdrawal before the age of 59 ½, but if your account has been open for 5 years, you can avoid this penalty. It's a viable option to consider if you find yourself in a money crunch.

You can be any age.

It's best to start young, so you can maximize your savings.

Low income, no problem.

Roth IRAs are for those of you who make less that $117,000 per year. If you're just starting out in the job world and making more than that, more power to you!

Add contributions as frequently as you want.

Feel free to charge up that Roth IRA with any amount up to $5,500 annually (or $6,500 if you're over the age of 50). So putting away just $20 a week could turn into a college tuition for your kids, a downpayment on your new home, a year-long vacation for two, or pretty much anything. It's simple to contribute amounts and resist the temptation to take them out. We're always more tempted to grab at money in our checking or savings account, where we see it waiting for us everyday.

So if you're still wondering whether or not you should be investing, the answer is plainly, yes. Do it. Do it now. You won't regret it.

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