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The earlier you plan for retirement, the better. Planning for retirement is more than just saving money. It involves making good investments.
Some people hit it big in the stock market. However, this strategy does not work for most. It’s good to diversify your investment portfolio. It should include some high-risk options and others with less risk.
If you want to grow your money, you need a stable investment. That is why you need an IRA account. Almost anyone can open an IRA account. However, most people do not take the full benefit of this investment option.
In This Post:
What Is an IRA?
An IRA lets you save for retirement. They are set up by financial institutions. They let you grow your money tax-free or tax-deferred. The three most popular IRA types include:
- Traditional IRAs
- Roth IRAs
- Rollover IRAs
There are other types of IRAs that are less popular. These might be right for you, depending on your financial goals. Let’s talk about the more popular options.
The money you contribute can be deducted on your tax return. Your investment grows tax-deferred until you withdraw it at retirement. Most retired people are in a lower tax bracket than they were when they were working. A traditional IRA lets them withdraw money at a lower tax rate when they retire.
You pay taxes on the money you contribute. Your money grows tax-free. You can withdraw the money tax-free at retirement. You will need to meet certain conditions to withdraw your money tax-free.
Money from a 401(k) or other retirement plan is rolled over to this IRA.
Your money can grow faster and you get better tax benefits in an IRA compared to taxable accounts.
How Do IRAs Work?
An individual retirement account gives you tax advantages because you set aside money for retirement. Your IRA could include stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and ETFs.
A self-directed IRA lets you decide what to include as an investment. Some include real estate, tax liens, and private placements.
An individual can open a Roth or traditional IRA. Self-employed people and small businesses might use a simple IRA. IRAs can only be opened by institutions that have been approved by the IRS. Options include brokerage companies, banks, savings and loan associations, and credit unions that have been federally insured. Most people open IRAs using IRA brokers.
The law limits what money you can contribute to an IRA. You cannot contribute money from investments, child support, or Social Security benefits. The income must be earned.
IRAs are for retirement. If you take out money before you are 59 and a half years old, you will pay a fine and may pay extra taxes.
How Can You Contribute to an IRA?
Starting early makes the difference. If a person contributes $6,000 a year for 10 years, by time they reach 65 their balance would be $675,000. However, if a person contributed at age 35 and contributed for 30 years, their end balance would be $606,000. This hypothetical example assumes a seven percent growth on investment each year.
You can contribute to an IRA online. In 2019 and 2020, the maximum annual limit you can contribute is $6,000. If you are over 50, you can contribute $7,000 a year. Even if you have multiple IRAs, the combined total cannot exceed the annual limit.
According to the experts at SoFi Invest, “An IRA lets you invest your savings… your money will grow over time into a healthy nest egg.” Opening an IRA is just the beginning. Once you determine how much you can contribute, make investing a habit. The more you invest and the earlier you invest, the more money you will save.
Some people set up automatic investments that allow them to choose the frequency of their investments. As soon as a person’s financial situation changes, they can update this information.
Why Should You Open an IRA?
Opening an IRA offers tax benefits. Any money put into an IRA grows and does not get taxed until it is taken out. This is true even if the investment earns dividends and interest. This is not true about regular investments. You must pay taxes on any interest earned in your savings account, for example.
IRAs are an exceptional investment tool. They allow you to deduct your contributions at the end of the year. You can defer taxes and save on taxes.
Retirement may seem far off, especially when there are pressing bills and expenses that need to be paid. However, retirement comes a lot quicker than you might think. An IRA lets you plan now for the future.