It might seem odd to open a retirement account for a high school student. But teenagers can get a big head start on long-term savings, financial advisers say, by stashing some of their earnings in a Roth individual retirement account.

Now is a good time to talk with teenagers about long-term savings using a Roth I.R.A. because they may have earned money from summer jobs, said Patricia A. Seaman, a spokeswoman for the National Endowment for Financial Education, a nonprofit organization that promotes financial literacy.

Teenagers can benefit from tax-free growth of investments in a Roth account years before they have the opportunity to contribute to a workplace retirement plan, Ms. Seaman said. And five decades of growth allows plenty of time to ride out market swings.

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Written By: Ann Carrns

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