3 Apps to Help You Save for Retirement
proving that there really is an app for everything
It’s no secret that Social Security benefits are drying up. Experts project that the fund’s reserves will run out by 2034. It’s looking grim for those of us born after 1980.
But there’s good news! We can play an active role in saving for our retirement—and a comfortable retirement at that. However, we must start now. One of the simplest ways to do this is to set aside whatever we can when we can. For $5 and just 5 minutes of your time, you can start saving for retirement from the comfort of your phone with one or all of these apps.
Disclaimer: I use an iPhone. I am not a licensed financial planner. I am not affiliated with any of the companies that develop these apps. Yes, I actually use all three. And, these opinions are my own and based on personal experience.
At the very top of my list is Acorns. Its retirement account has most of the bells and whistles that Digit and Stash have, but it feels easier (and more pleasant) to use. Maybe it’s the bright green theme. Or perhaps it’s the Milestones section that celebrates even the smallest achievement on your financial journey. Either way, you can begin investing through Acorns Later with just $5 and a monthly fee of $3.
I think Stash is better than Digit because it allows you to choose the companies and ETFs you want to invest in. You can invest in fractional shares of stocks and funds with as little as one penny! Some of my go-to stocks and ETFs include Starbucks, Amazon, and Up & Coming. But if doing this doesn’t sound like your cup of tea, Stash will invest for you with a Smart Portfolio.
While it is free to download and only $5 to open a retirement portfolio, you will pay a monthly fee of $3 or $9 depending on your financial goals. But there’s a bonus! Stash helps you grow your knowledge quickly right in the app with market news and educational articles.
Of these three apps, Digit feels the most official and the least fun. But it’s quite smart! Digit learns your spending habits, bills, and goals to calculate how much you should invest and creates a balanced portfolio of exchange-traded funds (ETFs) based on your risk level. Then, it does the investing for you each month. Your first investment happens 30 days after you set up your account and then on the same date every month after that. Make sure to plan ahead, though! After the end of your 30-day free trial, a Digit membership is $5 a month.