Prepping for retirement in your 20s

Retirement Account(Photo: Robert Byron Getty Images/Hemera)Nope, your 20s aren’t too early to start prepping for retirement. So what should you do be doing? USA TODAY’s Hadley Malcolm hosts this week’s #millennialmoney Twitter chat with Sheri Stuart, an education manager with Springboard Nonprofit Consumer Credit Management, on how to save for your golden years. This is a summary of the questions and answers.Q: If I have a 401(k), should I also have an IRA? At what point should I expand to more than one retirement fund?A: If you are able to contribute to both an IRA and 401(k), this is a great. The sooner you do, the longer your money has to grow, building a more secure future for you.Q: Should I increase my 401(k) contribution by 1% yearly?A: Yes. The more you contribute over a longer period of time will pay big dividends in the end.Q: When is the best age to retire to receive my maximum benefits?A: Everyone’s situation is different. Consider lifestyle before targeting a specific age to retire. The longer you delay receiving benefits, the more money you could potentially have at full retirement.Q: Is there a minimum amount you need to put in to start an IRA or Roth IRA?A: There is no minimum required to start an IRA or Roth IRA. Regular contributions are good.Q: What should I be doing in my 20s to prep for retirement besides contributing to a 401(k) or IRA?A: Learn to live on a budget. And avoiding credit card debt is key to managing finances for healthy retirement. Learning to manage finances early is the best way to establish long-term financial security.Q: Will paying off student loans early help my credit? Which debt is best to prioritize first?A: Yes, reducing debt is good. Thirty percent of your credit score is based on outstanding debt.Q: How do I start to build my credit?A: Ask your bank or credit union if they offer a secured credit card. Start with a small deposit. Use the card for 12 months then request conversion to an un-secured credit card and have your deposit refunded. Start with your bank or credit union – ask if they have a credit card or small loan that you can apply for.Q: If I apply for my first credit card, would it hurt my credit score if I were to be declined from bank?A: Your credit score may drop approximately five points depending on your overall credit file.