How do I Start a Retirement Savings Account?

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  • Written By: Malcolm Tatum
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 01 November 2019
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Many people today can no longer depend on the security of an employer-based pension or retirement fund, and are taking steps to open a personal retirement savings account. Accounts of this type are readily available around the world, with many of these account offerings mirroring the structures of the IRA or Individual Retirement Account in the United States or the ISA, or Individual Savings Account, available in the United Kingdom. While the process of starting a retirement savings account varies based on local laws and regulations, there are a few essentials that apply in just about every situation.

One of the first steps in setting up a retirement savings account is to determine the particular type of retirement account that would be the best fit for your circumstances. Typically, there are several different options available, with each providing some advantages and disadvantages that must be considered before opening the account. For example, people living in the United States may choose from several different types of IRAs, with some providing tax breaks for contributions made into the account each year, and others providing the benefit of paying tax on those deposits now instead of later when disbursements are made from those funds.


Once you have made a decision about what type of retirement savings account would be in your best interests, there is the task of determining which financial institution you wish to do business with. Generally, it is a good idea to consider your current bank, building society, or bank. Assuming your financial institution provides secure online access to your accounts, this would make the task of transferring funds from a checking account into your retirement plan quick and easy, as well as allowing you to manage those transactions at any convenient time.

If money is tight, you may also want to look closely at retirement savings account options that require a small initial deposit. One of the factors that prevents many people from establishing these types of accounts is that the minimum deposit on some account offerings is more than can be easily managed. Assuming you can find an account that allows you to start with a very low amount, and incrementally add to the account when and as you have a little spare money, that means you can begin saving now rather than later.

Always look closely at all your options, both at home, offshore, and online. The idea is to have the convenience of an online savings account that allows you to save for retirement, while still producing the highest yield possible. If considering an online bank or some type of offshore savings account, be sure to learn all about the banking laws that apply. Never assume that they offer the same protections as you would receive from the bank down the street. By considering all your options and investigating each one carefully, you can find the right retirement savings account and be on your way to a greater degree of financial security.



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