Three Reasons to Open a Traditional or Roth IRA

Not sure if an IRA is for you? Here are a few advantages that may convince you to open one today.

Woman researches retirement accounts on a tablet

No matter your plans for retirement, adding an Individual Retirement Account, or IRA, to your savings plan is a way to help get you there. An IRA allows you to save for retirement with tax benefits including tax deferment and potential tax deductions. If you don’t already have an IRA, here are three reasons why you should consider opening one:

You can save for tomorrow today

Putting money into an IRA can help you save for retirement since the income from interest, dividends and capital gains compounds each year, tax-deferred. You can use an IRA to start your retirement savings or complement your employer-sponsored plan.

It's flexible

IRAs typically offer freedom of choice from a variety of investment options allowing you to build a portfolio of stocks, bonds, mutual funds and other assets. Additionally, with an IRA, you have 16 months to make the annual maximum contribution. You may also be able to withdraw from your IRA for college and medical expenses, if you’re buying your first home or should become disabled.

It's easy

Anyone can open an IRA, even non-working spouses as long as the household’s taxes are filed jointly. You can even get your kids started on retirement saving early if they are earning income.

The two most common IRAs are Traditional and Roth. Use the chart below to determine which IRA is best for you.

Compare Your Options

When do I pay taxes on my IRA?

  • Traditional IRA: Taxes are paid when you withdraw the money in retirement
  • Roth IRA: Taxes are paid when you open and make contributions to the account

Does my account grow tax-deferred?

  • Traditional & Roth IRAs: Yes.

How much can I contribute?

  • Contribution limits may change from year to year and may depend on your household income. Consult the government’s IRS website for the most up-to-date details.

When can I withdraw from my IRA?

  • Traditional IRA: You must start withdrawing money by the time you reach 70 1/2. If you withdraw before you're 59 1/2, you'll potentially face tax penalties.
  • Roth IRA: Withdrawals of contributions are free of taxes and penalties. Withdrawals of earnings are tax and penalty-free if your first Roth contribution was made at least five years prior and you meet one of these conditions: you're 59 1/2, disabled or purchasing your first home. If these requirements are not met, it may result in a 10% IRS penalty tax.

Are my contributions tax-deductible?

  • Traditional IRA: Contributions may be tax-deductible but will depend on your MAGI and if you participate in an employer-sponsored plan.
  • Roth IRA: Roth IRA contributions are not tax-deductible. 

Related Articles

Couple sits together on the couch to discuss financial planning

Four Steps to Sound Financial Planning

Get started on the path to a happy retirement by taking these steps to make a stronger financial plan.

Read More
Woman sits on her couch with laptop.

IRAs for Beginners

If you’re curious about Roth and Traditional IRAs, this overview can help you understand how they work.

Read More
Man and woman smile while looking at a computer screen

Is a Fixed-Rate Annuity Right for You?

When considering all your retirement strategies, fixed-rate annuities could be crucial to your success.

Read More