What are the best steps to take in retirement planning? Given today’s economy how safe are IRA’s?

My wife and I are both 31 years old, and we want to start saving for our retirement. We’re interested in starting a Roth IRA, but with today’s economy, we really don’t know if that’s the best choice, or with which company to go with. Basically we just need some advice.

IRA’s in and of themselves are not inherently safe or unsafe, it depends what investments you put in them. You can buy US Treasuries which are totally safe, but have terrible returns. In the long run, stocks and stock mutual funds provide the best return. If you’re concerned about current conditions, don’t buy stock or stock mutual funds. But if you wait for times to get better, you’ll be buying both at much higher prices. The best strategy is to buy slowly over time. That way you buy more shares at a lower price and fewer shares at higher prices. Dollar cost averaging. http://www.investopedia.com/terms/d/dollarcostaveraging.asp

Whatever you do, best of luck to you. Saving for retirement at 31 is a great idea.