How do I start my own IRA or 401k? Or how do I start saving money for retirement if I am self-employed or if my employer doesn’t have a 401k? (Acorns)

It’s tough.

First off, let me put this out there:  I am a bankruptcy attorney, not a financial advisor.  This is not legal advice, investment advice, and may not even be good advice.

Short answer:  there’s a new company called Acorns that lets you invest tiny amounts of money (like $1 increments) and even lets you start putting money into your own IRA.  Here is my link to join:  https://acorns.com/invite/DGUTNN

Long Answer:  A majority of my clients do not have any kind of retirement savings.  Some are self-employed with no large employer to cover them under a big institutional 401k, some are under-employed (which means that they have low-paying jobs that don’t offer much in the way of benefits), and some have been between jobs to the point that they drained out whatever retirement monies they had just to make ends meet.  

I am in the self-employed category.  Technically, I could hire an accountant, incorporate, and make some kind of complicated SEP 401k (self-employed 401k), but that’s really not my kind of law.  In other words, I don’t know how to do a 401k on my own.

Last month, one of my brighter children (I have 11, and they run the gamut from being brilliant to not-quite-so-brilliant) suggested that I look at something called Acorns at www.acorns.com.  Acorns lets you invest anywhere from $1 a month (and up).  Even better, you can set up something called “round-ups.” With round-ups, each time I buy a soda at the gas station, it will round up my gas station soda purchase to the nearest dollar and stick that into my investment account.

It is fairly simplistic, but it lets you start a retirement account today with less than 5 minutes of total hassle.

Apparently it’s the real deal and I haven’t been aware of it because I’m old and not very hip.  Here is a 2015 CNN http://money.cnn.com/2015/04/15/technology/acorns-series-c/index.html article talking about it.

Now because of my son, I have an IRA.  It’s embarrassingly tiny, but it’s a beginning, and it was easy.

I don’t care if you use my link to join or do it on your own, but you really should consider setting up an account.  It’s a start.

Here’s my link for joining:  https://acorns.com/invite/DGUTNN