It may sound like a joke, but it is not. I imagine I am not the only one in this situation. I guess.
Here is what I have going on. I am a "one man show" self employed carpenter. It took many years to find out how much I need to make to actually save money and collect a profit. Sad but true, before that, living paycheck to paycheck. I have been able to just over the past 2 years, kinda, start saving. IRS took most of my savings the past 2 years, since I did not know how much to pay into estimated tax payments, (including many years before) it took years just to not having to finance a portion of the late taxes. There is a lot more to it than that. Bottom line, I am counting on this year everything will be paid up properly since last year I jumped a tax bracket, and that surprised me, since I thought.... "I got it this year". I did have some savings left over after that fortunately. The year before wiped it out, but both past 2 years it was paid off with out having to finance any, a MAJOR milestone for me.
Back on track, I don't think an IRA will fit what I am needing, I haven't got an emergency fund yet, about a 1/4 of the way there, but getting there slowly. Credit cards are all paid off except for about $1000 on one for health care. One auto payment $260 monthly, besides a small mortgage (27 years to go on a 30 yr) on our home that has a lot of equity (500K??). My plan, as it is now, is to contribute into a 1 year CD, as in, move the emergency fund, or my account that I am letting the profits accumulate, set that into the CD since the money market account that the emergency fund is in is only earning .3%??? and a CD will get 3.45 if I get enough into it, 2.45 if I don't or something like that, never the less 10 times more interest just by placing it in the right place.
Is this the right idea? Of course I may be doing to little too late and should just move to Mexico and live off my Social Security which I am told my wife and can live VERY well on just that.