t(IRA) – Take Advantage Of Tax Benefits

Individual Retirement AccountAn Individual Retirement Account (IRA) is one that has been crafted to help you save for retirement and one that also helps you take advantage of tax benefits. Individual Retirement Account comes in two forms namely, the Traditional and Roth IRAs.

 

What is the Difference Between a Traditional and Roth IRA?

 The basic difference between a Traditional IRA and Roth IRA would be the type of tax benefit each offers. Roth IRAs on their end offer tax-free growth potential. Investment earnings get distributed tax-free in retirement if a five-year waiting period has been met and you are at least age 59 ½  or maybe as a result of your death, disability, or using the first time homebuyer exception. Now since contributions to a Roth IRA are made with after-tax dollars, there is no tax deduction no matter the income.

Traditional IRAs on the other hand offer tax-deferred growth potential, where you don’t get to pay any taxes on any investment earnings until you withdraw or ‘distribute’ the money from your account, presumably in retirement. Plus, depending on your income, your contribution may be tax-deductible. Deferring taxes gives room for a potentially greater accumulation of wealth.

Why Should You Invest in an IRA?

Many financial experts, estimated that you may need up to 85% of your pre-retirement income in retirement. An employer-sponsored savings plan like a 401(K), may not be okay to pile the savings you require. The good part is that you can contribute to both a 401(K) and an IRA.

You should try as much as you can to contribute an amount to your IRA each year in order to get the most out of these savings. Also ensure that you monitor your investments, mostly as retirement draws closer and your goals change.

Types of IRA

Roth IRA

Roth IRAs on their end offer tax-free growth potential. Investment earnings get tax-free in retirement. If a five-year waiting period has been met and you are at least age 59 ½. Or maybe as a result of your death, disability. Or using the first time homebuyer exception. Now since contributions to a Roth IRA are made with after-tax dollars. There is no tax deduction no matter the income.

Traditional IRA

Traditional IRAs on the other hand offer tax-deferred growth potential, where you don’t get to pay any taxes on any investment earnings until you withdraw or ‘distribute’ the money from your account, presumably in retirement. Plus, depending on your income, your contribution may be tax-deductible. Deferring taxes gives room for a potentially greater accumulation of wealth.

SEP IRA

This category is about self-employed individuals, like independent contractors, freelancers, and small-business owners who can set up SEP IRAs. The SEP acronym stands for ‘simplified employee pension’. A SEP IRA follows the same taxation rules for withdrawals as a traditional IRA. As of 2019, the SEP-IRA contributions were limited to 25% of compensation or $56,000, whichever is less, but in 2020, the limit rose to $57,000.

Business owners who have to set up SEP IRAs for their employees can deduct the contributions. Howbeit, company employees are not allowed to contribute to their accounts, and the IRS taxes their withdrawals as income.

SIMPLE IRA

The SIMPLE IRA is designed for small businesses and self-employed individuals. The acronym stands for ‘savings incentive match plan for employees’. This IRA category also follows the same taxation rules for withdrawals as a traditional IRA. Now unlike SEP IRAs, SIMPLE IRAs enable employees to make contributions to their accounts, and the employer is needed to make contributions also. Understand that all the contributions are tax-deductible, potentially pushing the business or employee into a lower tax bracket.

As at 2019, the SIMPLE IRA employee limit stood at $13,000, with a 53,000 catch-up contribution which is good for savers age 50 and older. The limit stands at $13,500 in 2020, while the catch-up limit remains unchanged at $3,000.

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