| Hi Taylor
- I'm 34 and I've never really invested before. I'm still paying off
student loans but know I need to start saving for retirement. Any
suggestions? - Monique
Hi Monique - Glad you're looking ahead! It's hard to save for
the future when you're still paying off debt, but it's always smart
if you can do both. It will take a lot of patience, but it will be
worth it in the end.
To start, you
need to make sure you stay aggressive on those student loans. When
the debt is gone, it frees you up to do so much more with your money.
Make sure to pay down the balances with the highest APR first so
you don't keep getting hammered by interest forever.
Of course, I'd love if you were able to contribute to a retirement
account at the same time as you pay down debt. It might not be feasible
at first, but getting yourself to a place where you can do both
will be hugely beneficial down the road. Every extra year you have
money growing in an investment account makes a big difference when
it comes time to retire and live off those funds, so even starting
with a small amount of money will be helpful.
If possible, open your own IRA. In a recent article on GoFarWithKovar.com,
I talk about how people, especially millennials with limited investment
capital, should use Roth IRAs to grow retirement funds because of
their flexibility. I prefer an IRA to an employer-sponsored 401(k)
because of performance and hidden fees some 401(k) managers sneak
in, but I'd rather you have a retirement account through your work
than no account at all. You can always roll that 401(k) into an
You can also handle your own investing through the stock market
if that appeals to you. Save up a few hundred dollars so the trading
fee doesn't eat up too big a percentage of your purchase (or use
the Robinhood investing app since trades on it are free) and then
buy shares of a company you like. There are more complicated ways
to approach stock trading, but investing in businesses you love
is usually the most effective.
Information presented is for educational purposes only and is not
an offer or solicitation for the sale or purchase of any specific
securities, investments, or investment strategies. Investments involve
risk and, unless otherwise stated, are not guaranteed. Be sure to
first consult with a qualified financial adviser and/or tax professional
before implementing any strategy discussed herein. To submit a question
to be answered in this column, please send it via email to Question@GoFarWithKovar.com,
or via USPS to Taylor Kovar, 415 S 1st St, Suite 300, Lufkin, TX 75901.