How to Get an IRA

by Kelly Nuttall ; Updated July 27, 2017

Opening an individual retirement account, or IRA, is as simple as opening a bank account. There are a few types of IRA accounts from which to choose, so talk to an investment professional to find out which type of IRA would work best for you. There are many investing firms out there that would love to help you invest your money in an IRA account, so you should perform background research on three to five investment firms to see who you would like the best. Then you just give them some basic contact and tax information, make an initial deposit into the account and you are on your way.

Step 1

Learn all you can about the different types of IRAs available to you. If you have any questions, seek the advice of an investment professional and a tax professional so they can assist you in making the best decision for your situation.

Step 2

Research three to five investment firms and learn all you can about them. Each firm will treat you and your IRA account differently, with different investing and maintenance fees that you will have to pay. Call a representative with each investment firm you are interested in and ask them to tell you all they can about the way they treat IRA accounts and their owners.

Step 3

Sign up for an account when you have found an investment firm you like. They will require basic information from you when signing up for an IRA account, including your name, address, phone number, Social Security number and employment information. They will also require you to specify a beneficiary, or the name and Social Security number of the person who would inherit your account upon your death. This could be a spouse, child or a charitable organization.

Step 4

To complete the process of opening an account, you will need to make an initial deposit into the account. Different investment firms require different minimums for this initial deposit, so include this as one of your research questions.

Step 5

Verifying your information is usually the last thing you have to do to open an IRA account. When this has been completed, you will be assigned an account number. The investment firm will mail you a welcome packet that will include your account number and other important information you will want to review when you receive it. Keep this information in a file so you will have it available when you need it.

Tips

  • Monitor the progress of your investments regularly. Monitoring your account will allow you to learn how different investment vehicles work and behave. It will also help you notice any fraudulent activity taking place in your account.

Warnings

  • Different investment types can carry different levels of risk. Invest wisely to avoid costly losses.

About the Author

Kelly Nuttall is a student at Utah Valley University in Orem, Utah. She is set to graduate in the spring of 2011 with her bachelor's degree in technical communications. She has been writing for various websites since March of 2009.