By Madison Alder
A time I learned something about money was when I discovered my summer internship had automatically set up a 401K for me and I had to transfer the balance. I learned about the account when I received a letter in the mail informing me I needed to transfer the money from the 401K into a private savings account as soon as possible. Not knowing what that really meant, I called up the retirement company to talk about my options. They advised me to open an individual retirement account (IRA) at my bank to transfer the balance to so I wouldn’t lose it.
After an hour-long appointment at my bank a few days later, I was ready to move the money into my brand new IRA. But when I called the retirement company to make the transfer, I was told there was no money in the account to move. I was furious. Never in my time speaking with representatives from the retirement company did someone tell me that there was no balance in my account.
Instead of getting worked up about what should have been done, I transferred some of my own savings into the IRA. And now, at the age of 21, I’m proud to say I’ve successfully set up my own IRA and started investing in my future.
Madison Alder is a student at Arizona State University.