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I don't want to spend a bunch of money to talk to a CPA (though I might need to), so I was wondering if I could ask you guys. How do you save for retirement? I've heard of IRA's but know little about them, or is there a specific kind of account for retirement (like a child's education fund)?
We have savings accounts for each of the girls. They're a little lighter than we want them to be but we're working on that and should have it basically under control in the not too distant future. So now it's time to start funding our retirement (I saw that there was a bit of a debate of which should come first, we figured we could work towards them both at the same time).
(it's so weird... I barely "feel" 25, funding retirement feels like forever away, but even though we're hoping DH retires Army and we'll have a decent income, anything can happen)
"Disability is not a brave struggle or ‘courage in the face of adversity.’ Disability is an art. It’s an ingenious way to live."
There are other options than an IRA. There is one method that I consider to be advanced, mostly because I am still wrapping my mind around it! The book is called Be Your Own Banker and I think you use life insurance as the method.
I am still reading/understanding the book so I'm not much help there. I do have a friend who has a Variable Life Insurance plan which is another method to plan for retirement.
However, I think an IRA is the most affordable way to start saving for retirement.
There is a regular IRA and a Roth IRA. With a Roth IRA, the money deposited is after-tax so when the time comes for you to withdraw it, it is tax-free at that point. Here is a general resource where you can find further information : Traditional IRA vs. Roth IRA
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Also being in the Army, take advantage of that. They offer financial planning classes, you can go talk to JAG (who have financial attorneys also) for free, there are life insurance options for military as well, SGLI is pretty much a rip off IMO, but there's AFBA (which is what we have), USAA, etc so not that life insurance is retirement but it will help you if anything happens to your spouse as well. But definitely take advantage of the financial planning classes that the Army offers to families, they're completely free and a GREAT source of information (sometimes a local CPA will come in to speak as a guest speaker free of charge as well so you can pick their brains for free).