myRA Might Be the Solution for High School and College Students


If you’ve read “10 Things College Students Need to Know About Money” you know that I am a HUGE advocate of young people investing from retirement as soon as they have earned income. For many people that time is while in high school or college while you’re working part-time or eeking a living out of financial aid. Often, young people don’t know how to open an Individual Retirement Account (IRA) or don’t think they have enough money to open one (get my list of investment accounts you can open for less than $100 here).

The United States government is here to help with the new myRA (my retirement account, get it?). According to the U.S. Treasury,  these accounts are:

  • Easy to set up (you can have the money deducted from your payroll check if you wish)
  • Designed to help people with little money or no access to a retirement plan from work.
  • No risk of losing money (funds are invested in a Thrift Savings Plan-like account)
  • The funds you invest are NOT tax-deductible but you also can take them out whenever you like without penalty.

The best part? There is no minimum amount required to start an account and according to Forbes, ” additional contributions only have a minimum of $5.” The goal is really to get you into the habit of investing when you are young and have few dollars. The return isn’t great (think 1% or 2% per year) compared to a regular traditional or Roth IRA or 401(k)/403(b) but starting now with a few dollars and little interest is better than not doing anything. also notes:

Account holders can contribute up to $5,500 per year ($6,500 if over 50) and may continue to contribute until their total account balance reaches $15,000. All funds are invested in a newly created Treasury bond

Once you’ve grown a nest egg big enough to open a traditional or Roth IRA, or you have a job that provides a 401(k) or 401(b) hopefully with matching, you can roll the money over into a new account.

Click here to find out more about myRA accounts.



Not Enough Money for Retirement? 8 Countries to Live In

retire-abroadWe talk a lot about investing for retirement, not investing enough for retirement, and how to get the most out of your retirement dollar. What we normally don’t talk about it what to do when you just don’t have enough money.

Investopedia has a great list of eight countries you can live in when you only have $200,000 invested and your Social Security check of about $1,300 per month to count on. My favorites are:

Thailand – I’ve been there (only Bangkok) and it’s a cool place where you can live a pretty American life, if you choose to. I rented a one bedroom apartment with air conditioning in a condo building. There was a night market a few blocks away with things to buy and food to eat (they had a Mexican taco truck. Yum!) in a mall with a grocery store and a McDonalds and a coffee shop. The only strange thing is the ode to the King is played twice per day on tv  in train stations, and before movies. Just be quiet and stand and you’ll be fine.

Ecuador – I have never been but I hear a LOT of good things about it. Ecuador has topped many great-places-to-retire lists.

Costa Rica – Again, never visited but I hear that it’s a great place to live if you want an eco-friendly spot. They also say that it’s beautiful. I can’t wait to visit …. one day.

Spain – My first international trip was to Spain (I wanted to see the Al-Hambra) so I know a bit about it and feel that I could live a comfortable life there. I traveled from Madrid to Malaga, Seville and Cordoba. One could live a decent life there, as long as you like pork. They eat a lot of pork in Spain. Lol Push back against being colonized by Muslims for 400 years? Lol Anyhoo, living there could work.

Check out the whole list over at Investopedia.