I love my Roth IRA.
I started my Roth IRA while I was in college. My junior year actually. I had worked since I was 16 and with some extra money lying around in a savings account I decided to start saving for retirement before I even graduated college. I think it was a pretty smart idea since that money is still in my Roth IRA today and would have otherwise been spent frivolously .
I was pretty unique it seems, for starting a Roth IRA account in college. I certainly don’t know anyone else who did it. I didn’t hear any of my friends even talk about retirement accounts until they had been two years out of college unless I was the one to tell them about it. When Jeff Rose recently spoke at his alma mater not a single soon-to-be college graduate had a Roth IRA or had even heard of it.
I’m not surprised.
There isn’t enough financial education for young people. We didn’t get any help in high school or college. Even if classes covering personal finance exist they aren’t mandatory. That’s why I’m joining Jeff and other bloggers in proclaiming my Roth IRA love today… and sharing why it’s important for people to start saving when they are younger.
If you are in college or soon to graduate or have just graduated:
START INVESTING NOW. GET A ROTH IRA NOW.
Sure it will suck at first to send money to an account you won’t use until you are older. You probably won’t even be able to comprehend life at that future point. But chances are you will eventually reach that age and you don’t want to be as poor then as you were in college.
If you start investing earlier it’s easier to build wealth that will help you live a great life when you are older. You can start with smaller amounts, a few hundred a month or a couple thousand a year, and let that build momentum. Otherwise if you wait you will frantically be trying to save 50% of your salary near retirement. I doubt that’s much fun.
I would recommend doing what I did: read, research, and learn on your own. There are lots of resources on the web with information about investing and Roth IRAs specifically. It’s unlikely that you will learn about Roth IRAs and investing in school so take to the web and educate yourself. You’ll be glad you did for years to come.