After a TikTok video told me how to retire a millionaire, I immediately changed my savings strategy

  • A video by TikToker Gil Oliveira convinced me to open a Roth IRA retirement account.
  • By investing for retirement now, in my early 20s, I hope to retire a millionaire.
  • I chose a Fidelity Go account because it was the right fit for my lifestyle and finances.
  • Consult with an advisor to make sure you are doing everything to grow your wealth in this challenging time »

“Here’s how you can guarantee you’ll retire a millionaire in two easy steps,” TikToker Gil Oliveira announced one evening as I was scrolling through the social media app. My interest was immediately piqued, and after watching the video, I walked away with a new personal finance goal. 

Oliveira encouraged viewers to open a Roth IRA account before the age of 25 and put at least $100 into the account each month in order to retire with over $1 million. If someone could afford higher monthly contributions, or open the account sooner — say, age 18 — Oliveira assured viewers they could retire with over $10 million. While his quick explainer seemed promising, I know not to immediately trust everything on social media. Grateful he got the ball rolling, I decided to do some secondary research on my own. 

I started researching Roth IRAs and my various options

I’d heard the term Roth IRA before, and understood it was a type of individual retirement account, but didn’t know much more than that. After scouring the internet, I now know that while a Roth IRA is similar to a traditional IRA, it differs when it comes to how money in the account is taxed. In a Roth IRA, money is taxed before it enters the account, but you don’t pay taxes on future withdrawals. This is particularly beneficial to those who expect to be in a higher tax bracket when they retire. Users can then invest their money within the account similar to a workplace retirement account like a 401(k). 

Further research proved that Roth IRAs are generally encouraged as part of smart financial planning. I fell within the income limits for opening an account — below an adjusted growth income of $139,000 as a single filer — and felt confident I could max out the yearly $6,000 contribution limit.  

As a recent college graduate currently working in a freelance capacity, both my age and my work made me think a Roth IRA could be a good opportunity for me to start building my retirement funds. And while I know it’s important to have money in the stock market, investing long-term through a retirement account versus trading frequently felt more in my comfort zone. 

I opened a Roth IRA that met my lifestyle and financial needs

Still feeling slightly amused that I could learn about and implement smart financial strategies from a social media app, I was excited to begin the process of opening up a Roth IRA. 

While there seem to be countless options when it comes to Roth IRAs, and I was — transparently — overwhelmed when I first began the search process, I ended up selecting a Fidelity Go account. 

I chose this account because I knew I needed something more hands-off. Knowing my lifestyle, my comfort level around risks, and that I can sometimes be indecisive, letting a robo-advisor dictate my investments for me seemed like the best personal option at this time. Similarly, I appreciated that while there are fees involved, they’re upfront about the costs and I have a strong understanding of what I’m paying for from the beginning. I’ve also used Fidelity before with other accounts, and there was undeniably certain comfort that came from that. 

Saving has always come very naturally to me, but I’ve only ever used more traditional — and maybe more easily understood — high-yield savings accounts. While in the past it felt more secure to keep money somewhere I could see it and access it quickly, I’ve known for a while that due to inflation, a savings account is not the best place to store my money long-term. I’d known that I needed to start looking into other options, but I’d never sat down and taken the time to do it.

I’m excited to continue benefiting from the ways social media can educate and encourage me

As strange as it sounds, I don’t know if I would have taken the steps to open a Roth IRA so quickly had it not been for TikTok. It was the push I needed to reevaluate my financial strategy and put in the few hours it took to research and find the best options for me.

Maybe part of it comes from the way social media feels increasingly more intimate as I “get to know” my favorite creators, but ultimately I felt inspired that users take time and energy out of their day to share financial knowledge in an accessible and easily-understandable way.

As I grow on my journey with personal finance, I’m continuously inspired by the way technology can empower and educate me. It’s a simple reminder that there’s always room for growth and self-improvement so long as I remain open to hearing it. 

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