Uber has rolled out a number of driver-oriented perks in recent memory although its latest is by far the most attractive yet.
The ride-hailing service has partnered with online investment adviser Betterment to offer its drivers financial advising and retirement planning services. Specifically, Uber drivers can set up a traditional or Roth Individual Retirement Account (IRA) that’s invested in low-cost index funds that’s free of fees for the first year (there’s also no minimum balance required to get started).
For the uninitiated, IRAs are basically savings accounts that offer huge tax breaks. With a traditional IRA, your contributions to the account go in before tax but you’ll have to pay taxes on the growth when it comes time to use it down the road. Conversely, a Roth IRA provides no up-front tax benefits (whatever you put in has already been taxed) but it grows tax-free.
Depending on how much time you have to invest before retirement, it’s almost always better to go with a Roth IRA. Compound interest is your friend and given enough time, your contributions can grow to a seriously large amount of money that you won’t owe taxes on when it’s time to draw on it.
Not yet concerned with retirement? You should be. According to the Federal Reserve, nearly a third of Americans have no retirement savings or pension. Relying on Social Security, which may not even be around by the time you hit retirement age, isn’t exactly a great idea given the government’s track record with handling money.
As Dave Ramsey personality Chris Hogan says, retirement isn’t an age, it’s a financial number. The more money you stock away today (assuming you’re debt-free but the house), the more you’ll be able to do – for yourself, your family and others – in your golden years.
If you’ve never toyed around with an investment calculator, prepared to be floored by how compound interest works in your favor. As a quick example, say you invest $300 per month (less than the average car note these days) from age 30 to age 65 in good growth stock mutual funds. Assuming an average return of 10 percent, you’d be a millionaire by age 65.
In an interview with Benzinga, Betterment Director of Communications Joe Ziemer said his company’s core mission has always been focused on providing sophisticated financial advice and products to as many people as possible, regardless of their individual situation. Given Uber’s unprecedented scale, he sees this as a great opportunity to help a large amount of people save for retirement.
It doesn’t appear as though Uber is offering a match with its retirement plans but hey, it’s better than nothing at all.
Uber says the offer is available today for drivers in Boston, Chicago, New Jersey and Seattle with plans to roll it out nationwide as part of its Driver Rewards program soon.