How to get started with a retirement account

How to get started with a retirement account

IRA, ROTH, 401K Planning for retirement can be a bit overwhelming if you don’t know where to start. There are 401(k)’s, 403(b)’s, IRA’s, Roth IRA’s, 457’s and more but where do we start. If you work for a private company, then you may have a 401(k) option or if you work for a school district then you may have a 403(b) or 457 option. Everyone with earned income can contribute to an IRA or Roth IRA, and that may be the quickest place to start if you are not sure how to begin.


It is easier than ever to get started with a retirement savings, here are some ways to start:


If your company offers a retirement account then that is the best place to start because a lot of them offer a contribution match to help maximize your money. For example, your employer may offer to match the first 5% at 100 percent meaning that if you put in 5% then they will match your dollar amounts essentially doubling your contribution. There may be additional rules within these plans so be sure to check with your employer to see how everything works.

403(b)& 457:

If you work for a school district or some hospitals then you may have either a 403(b) or 457 option. Most school districts don’t offer matching contributions, but you can put money away pre-tax to save for retirement like how a 401(k) would operate.


This would be opened outside of an employer plan and allow you to save money pre-tax like a 401(k) or 403(b). If your taxable income is below a certain level, then your contributions can grow tax deferred. These contributions would be tax deductible for the current year but there are contributions limits for this account depending on your income and age.

Roth IRA:

Like an IRA, the Roth IRA would be opened outside of an employer plan but would be made with after-tax money that would then grow tax-free for retirement. You won’t receive a tax-deduction on the money this year but there are additional benefits to the account like being able to pass the money to your heirs tax free.

The hardest part is knowing how to get started and fortunately Gulf Coast Educators is here to help. We have a financial advisor, Joshua Krakowiak, who can sit down with you and go over your current financial situation and your goals to find the best solution for you and your family. There is no cost or obligation to set up and appointment to see how we can help you make the most of your money.

Click here to get your retirement savings started!

Josh KPost Author:
Josh Krakowiak
Financial Advisor


The opinions expressed on this page are for informational purposes only and is not intended to provide legal or financial advice. The views expressed are those of the author of the article and may not reflect the views of the credit union.