Everyone needs to save money for retirement, especially since the future of social security is so sketchy. Of course, even if social security is still available when you retire, that doesn’t mean you’ll get enough money to live on. There are many different types of retirement funds you can open. However, one of the best retirement saving options is a Roth IRA. Take a look at how a Roth IRA could lower your tax burden and sustain you through retirement.
What Is a Roth IRA?
Many people think that an IRA (Individual Retirement Arrangement) is an investment, but it’s really just an account where you store money. You do make interest off the money in an IRA, but that’s not the main purpose. Most people use the money in their IRA account to make investments, such as stocks, government bonds, or index funds. There are people that simply deposit money into their IRA and let it accumulate interest, but that’s not the best way to manage it.
Anyone can open an IRA. Many people have both IRA and 401k accounts that they are using to save for retirement. There are lots of rules and regulations on IRAs, but it is a good option for most people.
Tax Implications of IRAs
There are two types of IRA accounts — “traditional” and Roth. With a traditional IRA, you are typically charged taxes on dividends and capital gain, and additional taxes when you withdraw money during retirement. With a Roth, you are only taxed on the money you put in up front, meaning you don’t have to pay taxes on what you withdraw during retirement. This is because contributions to a Roth IRA are considered pre-tax income. However, you are not able to get a tax deduction when you contribute money to a Roth account.
Unless you earn a substantial amount of money (more than $150,000/annually) a Roth IRA is the best way to go. Most people that have IRAs also have other retirement funds, too, such as a 401k. This is because they are entirely different ways to invest money, and diversifying is always the safest way to plan for your future.
How to Open a Roth IRA
There are many different places where you can open IRAs. Banks and credit unions are common, but they typically only let you invest your money in money market accounts and certificates of deposit. Mutual fund companies are another place where you can open IRA accounts. They give you lots more investment options, but there is typically a minimum initial investment required. There are also discount brokerages for people that are a bit more experienced with IRAs.
There are a lot of questions you should ask if you want to know how open a Roth IRA, such as the following:
- What is the minimum investment amount?
- Are there fees?
- Are there limits on the amount that can be invested?
- What investment options are available?
Opening a Roth IRA could lower your tax burden considerably and it is also a great way to prepare for retirement. What experiences have you had with IRAs?