How IRAs Can Increase Retirement Savings


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At some point in adulthood, a personal retirement account is like an iron and a set of tools. It’s something you know you should have, even if you don’t necessarily know how to use it.

If you’ve been putting off figuring out how to set up an IRA, now is the perfect time to start. Similar to workplace retirement accounts such as 401(k)s, IRAs offer another way to save for retirement.

said Ryan Salah, Certified Financial Planner and Partner at Capital Financial Partners in Towson, MD. “I’ve never heard an elderly person say, ‘I spent too much retirement money.'”

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Additionally, just like a 401(k), an IRA offers tax incentives to those who invest. If used properly, the Roth version of the IRA comes with tax-free withdrawals upon retirement. And withdrawing your retirement money without paying taxes is the “Holy Grail,” says Ed Slott, a CPA and founder of

If you’re interested in an IRA but don’t know how to get started, read on for answers to all your IRA questions.

An IRA is a type of investment account designed to help you with your retirement savings on a daily basis. Generally they are of two types.

Traditional IRAs are funded with pre-tax funds. This means that anything you donate to these accounts in a given year can be deducted from your taxable income. Since you paid your taxes in advance, you will have to pay them when you withdraw your money when you retire. Also, he is subject to a 10% penalty on any money he withdraws from his account before he turns 59½.

A Roth IRA is funded with money already paid in taxes, so there is no pre-deduction. If he has held the account for at least five years, he can withdraw all funds, including investment income, tax-free when he turns 59½. What’s more, you can withdraw your money at any time without penalty.

You may have noticed that an IRA is similar to a 401(k), but it also comes with a traditional (for some companies) Roth option.

There are some important differences. For one, an IRA is an account you open yourself with a brokerage firm, while a 401(k) is managed by your employer. This means that when selecting a portfolio within a company plan, you are likely to see a menu of company-approved mutual funds. IRA investors have no such restrictions. You can invest in stocks, bonds, mutual funds, exchange-traded funds, cryptocurrencies, and just about anything a broker offers.

Also, there are various rules for the amount that can be donated. In 2023, an employee can donate up to $22,500 to her 401(k), plus he can donate an additional $7,500 to employees over the age of 50.

You can donate up to $6,500 ($7,500 if you’re over 50) to the IRA in 2023, but Roths has income limits for donations. If her single income is less than $138,000 or her married income is less than her $218,000, she can donate the maximum amount. High earners are eligible for reduced or no contributions.

it depends. If your company offers a matching donation to his 401(k) investment, that account should usually be your first stop in retirement savings, experts say.

“If your employer is matching 4% or 5%, it’s free money,” says Eric Bond, financial advisor and president of Bond Wealth Management in Long Beach, California.

It’s a matter of preference if you want to invest more in your retirement savings after you’re on the game. You may want the freedom to choose your own investments, especially if your company’s plans are full of overpriced or underperforming funds.

“If your goal is to secure additional assets for long-term goals and a 401(k) is not a good option, I would consider an IRA,” said Morningstar Personal Finance and said Christine Benz, Director of Retirement Planning.

If your employer doesn’t offer a Roth option on your 401(k) plan, we recommend using a mix of pre-tax and post-tax dollars when you retire. “Having tax diversification between accounts gives you flexibility in retirement,” Salah says.

Back to two favorite words of financial advisors.

It is generally believed that the loss is better if the tax rate is expected to increase in the future. It’s a decent bet if you’re early in your career. Because as you progress, you will (hopefully) demand higher salaries. Paying taxes on loss dollars means avoiding a large tax bill in retirement.

If you think taxes will be cheaper in the future, it may make more sense to pay further down via a traditional IRA. In addition, you can receive advance tax deductions. This means you can invest more dollars now.

Whether or not you pay more taxes in the future is not necessarily up to you. Governments may change tax rates. If the tax rate is going up, it’s better to pay your taxes in your Roth account now. And if they go down, “You’ve got a nice consolation prize,” says Slott, “he fixed the tax rate at retirement at 0%.” [withdrawals].”

It is the same as opening an account at a securities company. Almost all major online brokerages have the option of opening an IRA, and the steps are the same as opening any other type of account. Once you have logged on, you will need to fill out an application form. The application must provide identification, such as a passport or driver’s license, as well as personal financial information.

From there, you’ll need to figure out how to fund your account by linking a bank account, initiating a wire transfer, writing a check, or transferring funds from another type of account. Please be sure to read the print. Some brokerage firms charge a fee for certain types of transfers.

When money is credited to your account, it will automatically be transferred to your default low-interest cash vehicle, the “Sweep Account”. This is a pile of cash that can be used to buy or sell investments in an IRA.

While you can basically choose from the entire investable universe, you gravitate toward the diverse, low-cost mutual funds or ETFs you plan to hold for the long term.

If you want to switch funds after your first investment, don’t worry. Investment sales within an IRA account are not subject to capital gains tax.

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