No. of Recommendations: 4

I'm sure others will respond with questions and more detailed answers, but I wanted to make sure you got this right away.

Don't sign any plans or start anything at your credit union.

Go if you want. Ask them questions if you want. Take their paperwork home. Read it and think about it at home. They could have a good options for you, but unfortunately most of the financial services industry is offering services that are not beneficial to their customers. You know how aggressive the mall makeup ladies can be. These guys are a lot like that--except that they are selling belladonna, kohl, and red lead lipstick. And if your credit union's investment advisers are not doing that, you'll see it when you are looking over their paperwork at home without the sales pitch to confuse you. You can always go back another day.

The things you didn't mention which would help make advice more accurate to your situation are:
Do you have an adequate emergency fund?
Do you make little enough to be allowed to contribute to a Roth IRA? (IRS pub 590, I think.)
Do you want some of you investments to be a regular taxable account to use before age 59 1/2? (Like a down payment.)
How do you feel about risk and the stock market fluctuations?

I'm your same age and a government employee, but I got interested in stocks in about 2001. Contributing the annuity with the match is great. Paying down your credit cards is great. The next common step is an emergency fund. After that, I'd recommend a Roth IRA (if you don't make too much). You can put in $5k a year and you can contribute for this year up until April 15th of next year. It's a good deal because the investment grows tax free. You probably won't truly appreciate the wonderfulness of that tax-free bit until you have a taxable investment account and have to pay capital gains taxes. Good luck.

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