Wanted: Savvy retirement advice for a struggling youth
December 2, 2013 9:16 AM Subscribe
If I live until retirement age, I don't want to be broke. I am 24 and I want to start saving for retirement now, but I’m unsure how to go about it. I’ve heard good things about Vanguard, but I’m looking for some personal anecdotes and solid advice on how to go about this.
posted by Driven to Work & Money (17 answers total) 19 users marked this as a favorite
I make 28k as a legal assistant and have been in this job for approximately 8 months. In July I will qualify for a 401k program, but as it is uncertain if I will continue at this job after that point I’m curious if I should open a Roth IRA instead. I am 24 and I want to start saving for retirement now, but I’m unsure how to go about it. I’ve heard good things about Vanguard, but I’m looking for some personal anecdotes and solid advice on how to go about this.
Currently I have a checking and savings with a traditional brick and mortar bank in my area and an online savings account with Barclays. I have approximately 4k in the Barclays OSA and I have $100 automatically going to that account every paycheck as well as throwing more into the account as I am able. (Goal is to have between 8-10k in that account by August.) I have no school debt, as I've paid my own way. I have a small car loan (about $5,000 left on it) and a very small monthly payment. I recently applied for a credit card, but only to help establish credit. I have a full time job as a legal assistant and a part time job as a domestic violence counselor weekends/nights and I am working on three classes until I can finally have that damn BA.
I have had the Barclays account for about 4 ½ months and was putting away roughly half of my income each month, but between holidays and trying to pay for school and car insurance I haven’t been able to do that lately. I live with my parents, I don’t go out at all unless it is to the library or gym at Uni and my personal expenses consist of health/medication, school expenses, phone bill and helping pay for groceries and other bills at home. I recently spent some money to replace my eight year old laptop and get some work done on my vehicle, so I think those expenses were justified. In short, I live pretty damn frugally and am a bit of a workaholic.
Should I take a grand out of my OSA and open a Roth IRA? Should I just keep doing what I’m doing and wait for the right opportunity? I need something I can just set up like an automatic deposit and forget about, because between a full time job, a part time job, and attempting to finish my BA I’m stretched extremely thin mentally. I've done some research and talked to my office manager about how the 401K works once I qualify. Apparently I get to choose the funds I invest in and can choose my own financial advisor. I find all this fascinating, but I need to start NOW and I don't have a lot of time to invest in muddling this all out or scheduling meetings with potential advisors. So can you help me out and point me in a good direction? I need advice my dear mefites!