No. of Recommendations: 0
You should surely qualify to open a Roth or Traditional IRA with a broker (or bank, in case you aren't comfortable with anything riskier than CDs). You can then invest it as you see fit, subject to what the broker can transact: most people would be in stocks or mutual funds of one kind or other.

At $400 per month you will come very close to the $5000 annual maximum. Ideally you would find a way to max it out. Unless you make a lot of money and desperately need the tax writeoff (sounds like that's not the case), the Roth is very likely the superior option. You don't get the tax writeoff now, but in retirement your withdrawals will be tax-free, presuming Uncle Sugar doesn't change his mind between now and then.

Bear in mind that many people make their IRA contributions during the first part of the following year (you can make prior year contributions until tax day), but they don't have to wait. You can make them as early as the first business day of the year they're for, to take advantage of more investment growth. Waiting until the last minute, if you have the money to do it sooner, makes very little sense.
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