Guest Contributor: KristiLyn Wilkinson, M.S.
USU Extension Empowering Financial Wellness Program Manager
Welcome to Part 3 of 3 in this series on financial health for women and “working out” your retirement! Did you miss Part 1 or Part 2? Don't miss them!
Now that you have decided which IRA type is right for you, how do you go about opening one? There are multiple different kinds of accounts that can be designated an IRA; mutual funds, stocks, bonds, CDs, saving accounts, etc. Think about your IRA as being a cookie jar. You can put a variety of different cookies into the jar. The type of “cookies” or “investments” you put in the jar depends on what your long-term goals are. Then think about writing on the cookie jar either “traditional” or “Roth” and this will let you know what kind of tax benefit you are going to get on the cookies in your jar! Are you thinking about downing a package of Oreo’s yet? Because I am!
Opening an IRA is simple. First, you need to decide which company you want to open an account with. Many banks and credit unions have an in-house financial services person that can help you open one. If you know what type of investment you want and what company you want to use, you can go directly to their website and open an account. While you are researching different companies, be sure to note if they have minimum requirements for opening an IRA. Some companies require as little as $1.00 and some require $3,000. While you are setting up your account, do yourself a huge favor, this will make working out your retirement a breeze, and set up automatic deposits every month.
Hopefully, you have figured how much you need to be saving each month to reach your retirement goals- if not don’t worry, that is a post for another day. If you are just getting started, do $5, $10, or $20 a month. Most of us can look at our budget and find one area where we are spending money that doesn’t align with our financial goals and put that money towards an IRA- think going out to eat one less time each month.
Congratulations! You have made it through all three posts in this series. You and your stretchy pants have been through quite the workout! Now, grab a package of cookies, sit down at your computer, and open an IRA. Your future self will thank you for it!
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