36% of Americans save absolutely nothing for retirement.

80% of people ages 30-54 believe they will not have enough money saved for retirement when the time comes.

You know you need some sort of retirement plan, but can you afford it?

Are you a statistic? Or on your way to becoming one?

Spoiler alert: Yes, you can afford to invest in your retirement

It doesn’t take much to get started and it takes even less to keep going.

Here’s how you can invest for retirement, even if you think you can’t afford it…

What You Need to Know

There are 2 very important things to pay attention to when you are starting with a small amount…

Minimums and fees.

You can’t invest what you don’t have, so you will need something with a low minimum initial investment.

Fees can be a killer. Especially when you’re dealing with small amounts, because fees often stay the same.

Example: If an investment company has a $9 fee for each transaction, you will be spending a much higher percent on a small amount than you would with a larger amount. $9 is 9% of $100, while it’s less than 1% of $1,000. This means you may want to choose a different company or start with an investment that doesn’t require a transaction fee. The point is, you don’t want to spend 9% in fees if you are only earning 7% or 8% in interest. Always try to keep investing fees at 2% or less.

So, what kind of investments should you be looking at? Let’s see…

Start With a Good Foundation (It’s Free!)

You can generally start your retirement account for free. That’s right! Free!

Not only is it free, but you have options!

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If your employer offers a retirement plan, you should look at that first, especially if they offer a match. There usually isn’t a minimum to get started.

If your employer doesn’t offer a retirement plan, you can open an IRA.

These companies let you open your IRA for free…

Open a Free IRA

That explains the method you should use, now let’s move on to what you can invest in with just a few bucks.

3 Options to Invest With $100 or Less

There are way more than three options to invest for under $100, but these are the easiest methods to implement right now…and by the way, there may be a fourth method here, because I couldn’t resist — I told you there were more than three!

1. Mutual Funds

The initial investment for mutual funds can be high, but not always. Here are a few mutual funds that you can open with $100 or less…

Starting with one of these “starter funds” is a great way to begin, but don’t stop there. Once you have enough to afford a better mutual fund, start upgrading!

The fund you really want may have a $1,000 or a $3,000 minimum (especially if you’re looking at index funds), so just climb the ladder. Start with a $100 minimum fund, then go to a $500 fund when you get there, then $1,000, then $3,000. Work your way to the top. You’ve got the idea.

Related: How to Choose Specific Index Funds for Retirement Based on Your Age

2. DRIPs

Dividend Reinvestment Plans (DRIPs) are a great way to start small. A DRIP is a plan that allows you to start as small as buying one share of a company, then continueing to invest your dividends into buying more shares. It compounds over time.

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It’s a great way to start small and end up with a lot more than you may expect.

More on DRIPs here.

3. ETFs

Many companies offer free ETF trading, so you don’t pay any commissions. This is definitely a great way to start investing. If you want to trade ETFs for free, look to one of these companies…

More on ETFs here.

4. Betterment

I know I said 3 ways to invest, so consider this a bonus. Betterment is a great way to invest and there is absolutely no minimum to start an account.

Betterment is a website that allows you to invest in different ETFs based on the asset allocation you select. You don’t actually pick the specific ETFs, so that may be an issue for some who want to have more control over their investing.

Go check out Betterment Here.

Final Words

These are only a few of the options you have for investing with a small amount.

This all goes to show you that anyone can start investing for retirement. It doesn’t take much.

Once you start contributing to your retirement, keep going! Even if you can only afford a few dollars every month, contribute something.

Photo Credit: Crystian Cruz, Arlo Bates, Chris Potter, Norlando Pobre, marta

Statistics: Retirement statistics.

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