If you're not sure about investing in the stock market, and your income is below $129,000 ($191,000 household), the new MyRA might be right for you. You can contribute up to $5,500 after-tax per year and the money invested grows tax free; but, if you withdraw the interest before age 59 1/2, you may be subject to tax and penalties on the gain. Unlike other investment plans, this new MyRA limits your options to a single fund that invest in governments bonds, which currently earns an annual interest rate of around 2.5 percent.
If you find yourself unable to save money and keep it saved, then you might want to hire a wealth coach or financial advisor to help you find money inside your current budget to save and more importantly, to hold you accountable to reach your goals. The key to not spending your savings and investment money is to set and steadfastly stick to a budget. Just as a personal trainer can help you realize fitness resolutions, a financial coach can help you reach your financial goals.
For extra motivation, you might want to read "The Millionaire Next Door." This is a classic book about attitudes toward money, financial discipline and the personal qualities that make the difference between acquiring wealth and having little to show for years of work--regardless of your income. The concept of discipline is reflected by the title, which indicates that these self-made millionaires don't seem different from people of lesser means because they live in modest homes and drive inexpensive cars. Who knows, with a little discipline, maybe you'll end up the next "Millionaire Next Door."
This column is the opinion of the author and in no way reflects the opinion of ABC News.
Byron L. Studdard, a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ practitioner, is founder and president of Studdard Financial, LLC, a financial advisory firm in Sarasota, Fla., dedicated to helping clients build wealth, protect it and pass it on to future generations. Studdard is listed in the Guide to America's Best Financial Planners (published by the Consumers' Research Council of America, an independent research organization). He can be reached at Byron@studdardfinancial.com. If you have a question for him, send him an email and he will try to answer it in an upcoming column.