When somebody says the word “movement” to me, the first thing I think about is Zumba. I wish I could tell you why, but alas I can’t.
Today, I want to talk about a movement that is near and dear to me. A movement that includes one of my most loved investing tools – the Roth IRA.
But first, a back story…..
Last week, I was asked to speak at my alma mater, SIU Carbondale.
I was talking to soon-to-be graduating seniors, giving them some tips on investing and saving once they hit the real world.
When I reached the investing portion of my speech, I had taken a poll of the crowd, asking them how many of them had heard of the Roth IRA.
This isn’t the first time that I have spoken to a class of college students and this isn’t the first time that I have asked this same question.
I’ve always had at least a few participants answer “yes”.
To my complete surprise, of the 50 plus attendees not a single one raised their hand. I could not believe it.
I know what you’re thinking:
Who cares if they didn’t know about the Roth IRA? It doesn’t really matter.
That was a question that I asked myself over and over again as I drove home that evening. The final conclusion was “Yes!”, it is a big deal. More young adults need to know what the Roth IRA is and how it can have a tremendous impact on their life.
I was determined to start a movement.
Getting Started At Life
See, it’s not just about the Roth IRA. All these college students were getting ready to start their career. They were going to start making some real money and essentially taking control of their financial future. The Roth IRA is just one of the many tools that they can take advantage of and they had no clue what it even means.
My fear is that because of the lack of knowledge, they won’t start investing until much later in life. If you’re still wondering “Is it really that bad?”, let me give you some more.
I come from a background where my family did not save. My dad did not save, my mom did not save.
They basically had nothing in retirement. The only reason I knew what a Roth IRA was because I had a friend in high school that somehow knew about it and started one when he was 18.
With my parents I saw what it meant first hand to not have ample enough savings. To really struggle with money.
But as any stubborn kid knows, your parents telling you to invest or save doesn’t mean anything. You have to experience it yourself before it actually means anything to you.
The Day it Finally Sunk In
When I started my job being a financial advisor I can remember meeting with a couple that made a lasting impression. This couple was in their late 60′s and was struggling financially.
They had no hope of retiring at all anywhere soon and they both told me this:
- I wish we would have saved more.
- I wish we would have started early.
They contributed it to a lack of knowledge, a lack of seeking out information, of just being pure lazy.
When I talked about this Roth IRA movement, it’s not just to let people know about the Roth IRA, but to also give young people the knowledge, the motivation, and the urgency of why they need to not only know about the Roth IRA but to also learn the benefits of investing now.
Not tomorrow. Not ten years from now. NOW.
Let’s talk about this movement.
The Roth IRA Movement
A movement is defined as:
- a. A series of actions and events taking place over a period of time and working to foster a principle or policy: a movement toward world peace.
- b. An organized effort by supporters of a common goal: a leader of the labor movement.
A movement only works when you have people on board.
One of the things that I’m thankful for is that I have a network of personal finance bloggers that are committed to educating their readers and also educating the public with their experiences on personal finance so that others can benefit. I have asked these bloggers to take part in this movement.
My hope is to get so many other bloggers on board, that this will cause the awareness campaign that will touch thousands if not millions. (Don’t doubt the power of a blogger )
How You Can Take Part
So if you are a blogger that is interested all you need to do is to say your part of the movement by leaving a comment below and then writing a blog post of why you love the Roth IRA and have it scheduled for March 27, 2012.
The day that it goes live be sure to send me a link of your blog post and I will include it here because I’m hoping to link out to every single person that contributes.
What if you’re not a blogger? Don’t worry, if you’re not a blogger it’s okay, you can still help out. On the day of I’ll have a reminder and if you could share the Roth IRA movement post and other posts that talk about the Roth IRA to all your friends and followers then you’re doing your part, too.
Financial Literacy Awareness Month is in April so although we’re a bit premature, what a great way to get it started.
Please join the movement and let’s help others succeed financially.