I have a retirement fund! Registered on a whim (sorta) on a Saturday night in less time than it will take me to post about it. Woo!
It wasn't truly on a whim because I've been thinking about getting my retirement funds off the ground for a while now. This is basically half of my summer savings goal. For right now, the amount matters less to me than actually starting the account. Which is a Roth IRA at Vanguard, in case you're wondering. Their STAR fund has a $1000 minimum and waives the $20/year fee if you register for electronic statements, making it easy for me to jump in and start saving.
Get Rich Slowly calls the STAR a "mutual fund of mutual funds, a safe choice for beginners." Right now, I'm don't want to be hands-on with my money. I want to set it and forget it, as much as possible, because there are so many other things going on in my life. Plus, I have little desire to get involved with the stock market, and little knowledge* about investing.
Opening the account was simple and straightforward. I needed my Social Security Number and bank info (and money in said bank account). It took me about 10 minutes. And starting it is the thing. It's there, its easy to access. I can set up a regular payment, and start seriously saving.
This feels like the first big step I've taken into adulthood. I'm taking control of something that's not school or one of the basic needs in life. My parents always handled savings. I knew they were active savers - I saw them meet their financial adviser, and they talked about saving for retirement, and I heard them talk about our college funds - but I wasn't really involved. Now I'm looking to the long term for myself, which makes me feel kinda weird, actually, because I know most other people my age aren't doing that. But I feel good about this - I'm starting to take charge of my future and claim my independence.
*a dangerous thing, I know.