The Smart Shopper’s Guide to Individual Retirement Accounts
- IRA vs. Roth IRA: What’s the difference?
- Understanding the most important IRA rules
- How to choose the best type of retirement account
- The best place to open an IRA
- How to optimize your IRA account for maximum growth
Are you thinking about opening an IRA?
Do you feel overwhelmed by all the IRA choices and decisions that must be made?
- Should you invest in a traditional IRA or a Roth IRA? What’s the difference anyway?
- What rules do you need to understand so you don’t get in trouble with the IRS?
- How do you sort through all the IRA providers and choose the right one?
You can turn to a financial advisor for answers, but that introduces new complications and conflicts of interest:
- The advisor might be incentivized to sell you in-house investment products.
- Your fees and expenses will be higher, and low fees is one of the top determinants of long-term investment outperformance.
- Many advisors don’t want to talk with you unless you already have an established account, or meet minimum new account requirements.
It’s no wonder so many people end up putting off their retirement savings. There are too many unanswered questions, so they end up doing nothing for fear of making a mistake.
There’s no need to let this happen to you!
This comprehensive guide to IRAs will teach you everything you need to know so you can get started with confidence and take an important step towards creating the retirement of your dreams.
What is an IRA?
Before we dive into the complexities of an IRA account, let’s start with the basics. An IRA, or Individual Retirement Account, is an investment vehicle that allows you to save for your retirement while receiving certain tax advantages.
Traditional IRAs offer investors an up-front tax deduction for the amount contributed each year (subject to earned income limitations). They also offer the additional benefit of tax-deferred growth.
Compare this with a regular taxable investment account where you’re responsible for paying taxes on realized gains, dividends, and interest in the year they’re received. With an IRA account, however, you can defer these taxes until you take a withdrawal from the account. This gives you the opportunity to reinvest and grow those deferred tax savings instead of pay it all to the IRS.
However, it’s important to note that when you take a distribution from your IRA, the entire amount you withdraw is taxed as ordinary income. It doesn’t matter if the investment was held for more than a year qualifying for long term capital gains treatment or if it was short term capital gain or dividend. The withdrawal amount will always be taxed as ordinary income regardless of how it was earned.
This is very similar to another popular retirement savings vehicle – the 401(k). One of the major differences, however, is that a 401(k) is controlled by the sponsoring employer. When you open an IRA account, you’ll have complete control. This means the decisions you make will impact a variety of factors including your investment options and the fees you’ll pay. We’ll get to that in a moment, but first let’s take a look at another popular investment vehicle, the Roth IRA.
What is a Roth IRA?
A Roth IRA is another retirement savings vehicle offering a completely different type of tax advantage. Understanding the key differences between traditional and Roth IRAs will help you decide which is best for your specific needs.
The first major difference is the way the account is funded. While traditional IRAs give you an up-front tax deduction, Roth IRAs are funded with after-tax money. In this way, contributing to your Roth account is very similar to putting money in a regular savings account.
Both traditional and Roth IRAs are set up for tax-deferred growth. When you have capital gains or receive dividends and interest, you won’t have to pay taxes in the year they’re received.
However, the major advantage of a Roth IRA is the way distributions are handled. As long as you follow the withdrawal rules, you can take distributions completely tax free! That means you’ll never pay taxes on future gains, interest, or dividends when you withdraw from your Roth IRA account.
Consider this example:
Joe opens a Roth IRA and makes a $10,000 initial deposit. Since Roth contributions don’t receive a tax deduction, he would pay income taxes on that $10,000 in the year in which it was earned. Fast-forward a few years and imagine that account now has an $80,000 balance. As long as Joe is over 59 ½ and the account has been open for more than five years, he can take out the entire balance – including the $70,000 in gains – without ever having to pay a penny of taxes!
It’s easy to see how this tax advantage could have a huge impact on the success of your retirement plan. This is one of the reasons that Roth IRA accounts have grown in popularity.
Understanding the Most Important IRA & Roth IRA Rules
Traditional and Roth IRA rules are set forth under the United States Tax Code and enforced by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). In some cases the rules for traditional and Roth accounts are the same, but, more often, they vary depending on which type of account you’re dealing with.
Some of the primary issues you need to consider include:
- Earned income
- Contribution limits
- Contribution deadlines
- Earnings limits
- Age limits
- Withdrawal rules
- Required minimum distributions
- Beneficiary designations
1. Earned Income
If you want to make a contribution to your traditional or Roth IRA, you must have what’s known as “earned income” during the tax year. The simple definition of earned income is “money derived from paid work.” The most common forms of earned income are your salary, wages, bonus, commissions, or tips. The IRS also allows other forms of income including:
- Profit distributions from a business you own
- Some disability benefits
- Taxable scholarship or fellowships
- Jury duty pay
- Accrued vacation payments
- Military differential pay
Other income you receive isn’t considered “earned” and therefore would not count towards the amount you can contribute. This includes:
- Dividends and interest
- Pension payments
- Rental Income
- Social Security Income
- Unearned K-1 income
- IRA distributions
You can only contribute the lesser of your earned income for the tax year, or the maximum allowable contribution. For example, if the annual maximum is $6,000 but you only have $3,500 of earned income, the most you can contribute is $3,500.
If you live in a household where one spouse is a stay-at-home parent or doesn’t have earned income for any other reason, there are still ways to take advantage of IRAs. A “spousal IRA strategy” allows a working spouse to contribute to both his or her account and that of the non-working spouse, as long as there’s enough earned income to cover both contributions.
Consider this example:
Brooke works a full-time job earning $80,000 per year, while her husband Dave stays home with their children. The maximum IRA contribution during the tax year is $6,000 per person. Brooke can make a contribution of $6,000 to her IRA and another $6,000 contribution to Dave’s IRA. On their joint tax return they would get at $12,000 deduction and each of the $6,000 deposits would grow tax-free until the funds were withdrawn.
It should be noted that a “spousal IRA” (or “spousal Roth IRA”) is not a joint account. It’s simply an IRA or Roth that was opened in the non-working spouse’s name and funded by the working spouse.
To qualify for a spousal IRA (or spousal Roth IRA), you must file your taxes jointly. The total combined contribution cannot exceed the total taxable compensation reported on your tax return.
2. Contribution Limits
The IRS determines how much you’re allowed to put into your traditional or Roth IRA each year. This amount changes every few years so you’ll want to check the IRS web site for the latest numbers. In the 2019 tax year, each person is eligible to contribute $6,000. If you’re age 50 or older, you can also make an additional $1,000 catch-up contribution, bringing your total to $7,000.
Note that these maximum amounts are the combined total for both IRA and Roth accounts. You could choose to put the entire amount in a traditional IRA, put it all in a Roth, or put a portion of your savings in each type of account. When you’re done, however, your total contribution cannot exceed the annual maximum.
It’s important that you pay attention to this, as excess contributions are taxed at 6 percent per year for every year that they remain in your account. Most IRA providers will prevent you from contributing too much, but if you have accounts with multiple providers, this error could easily occur. Make sure you keep good records to avoid this costly mistake.
3. Earnings Limits
Unfortunately, contribution limits don’t tell the whole story. Your contributions are also further regulated based on how much you earn. These rules are completely different depending on whether you’re contributing to a traditional or a Roth IRA. Earnings limits are also subject to change each year. Let’s take a look at the 2019 numbers…
Traditional IRA Earnings Limits
As long as you have earned income and haven’t exceeded the maximum age (more on that later), you can always contribute to an IRA. However, if your modified adjusted gross income (MAGI) is above the limits set forth by the IRS, your tax deduction could be reduced or completely eliminated.
These limits also depend on whether you and/or your spouse are covered by a retirement plan at work, like a 401(k), 403(b), SIMPLE, SEP, or pension plan. If you’re covered under a company retirement plan, you’ll see an X in box 13 of your W-2 tax form.
- Single Taxpayers – In 2019, if you’re single and covered by a plan at work, you can earn up to $64,000 and still receive a full deduction for your IRA contribution. If you earn over $64,000 but less than $74,000, your deduction will be reduced. Once your MAGI exceeds $74,000 you cannot deduct any of your contributions.
- Married Filing Jointly – For married couples filing jointly, the limits depend on whether one or both of you are covered under a company plan.
If neither you nor your spouse are covered by a retirement plant at work, then your contributions are deductible regardless of how much you earn. However, if you or your spouse are covered by a company retirement plan, things get more complex.
- If you’re not covered by a company plan but your spouse is, the deduction starts to phase out when your joint MAGI reaches $193,000. If your total joint MAGI exceeds $203,000, you cannot take any deduction for your contribution.
- If you and your spouse are both covered by a company plan, your contribution will begin to phase out when your joint MAGI reaches $103,000. Once it exceeds $123,000, the deduction is completely eliminated.
Note that even if your deduction is phased out or eliminated, you can still make a contribution to your IRA. This will allow you to still take advantage of tax-deferred growth. Non-deductible contributions aren’t taxable when they’re withdrawn, but you’ll need to keep good records and file the appropriate forms with the IRS.
Roth IRA Earnings Limits
Roth IRAs have a different set of earnings rules, and when you exceed the limits for this type of account, the amount you’re allowed to contribute is phased out.
- Single Taxpayers – In 2019, single tax filers with a MAGI of less than $122,000 can contribute the annual maximum in their Roth IRAs. Once you hit $122,000, the amount you can contribute is reduced, and if your MAGI exceeds $137,000, you can no longer make Roth contributions.
- Married Filing Jointly – For married couples filing jointly, your contribution is reduced starting at a joint MAGI of $193,000. It’s completely phased out when it exceeds $203,000.
4. Contribution Deadlines
The deadline to make your contribution is the same for both traditional and Roth IRAs. For each tax year, you can make your contribution any time between January 1st and your tax filing deadline (usually April 15th of the following year).
Note that if you file your taxes before the deadline and then decide to make an additional prior-year traditional IRA contribution, you’ll need to file an amended tax return to get the extra deduction. Since there’s no deduction for Roth contributions, you can make prior-year contributions up until the tax filing deadline without worrying about re-filing your taxes.
5. Age Limits
The age of the account holder is another variable that impacts traditional and Roth IRA Accounts.
There is no minimum age requirement to open either type of account. Children or teenagers with earned income can put away contributions just like adults can. For children under 18, an adult would need to sign off on the account and act as custodian. However, the account would be in the minor’s name. All of the rules would apply exactly the same as they do for adults.
Note that not all banks, brokerages, and investment firms allow minors to open traditional or Roth IRA accounts. However, if you can convince your minor to start saving for retirement early it can result in a huge payoff down the line, thanks to the power of compounding.
When it comes to the maximum age for contributions, traditional and Roth IRAs have different rules. There’s no age limit on Roth IRAs, so as long as you have earned income and don’t exceed the earnings limits, you could keep contributing indefinitely. This gives those working into their later years the ability to take advantage of additional tax savings.
Traditional IRAs, however, require you to stop contributing in the calendar year in which you turn 70 ½.
Note that you don’t want to confuse IRA contributions with IRA rollovers or transfers. Some retirees mistakenly think that they’re too old to open an IRA account and move the assets they’ve accumulated in their 401(k) or other company retirement plan. This is not the case! You can move your money between retirement accounts no matter what your age. In fact, you might benefit from significant costs savings by rolling over balances from an old company 401(k) to a rollover IRA so it’s well worth considering.
Spousal Strategy Age Limits
If you’ve reached 70 ½ but your non-working spouse has not, you can also still take advantage of the spousal IRA strategy. As long as you still have earned income, you’ll be able to contribute to your spouse’s IRA account up until the year in which he or she also turns 70 ½. This could give you the opportunity to put away some extra money and take advantage of additional tax deferral.
6. Withdrawal Rules
Withdrawal rules are arguably the most complex feature of retirement accounts. While there is a lot of information to understand, it’s pretty simple once you break it down.
Taking Withdrawals from Your Traditional IRA
When you take a withdrawal from your traditional IRA, the amount of the distribution is added to your taxable income for that year. This is the case no matter how old you are when you take your distribution and there’s no way to avoid it. If, for example, you withdraw $3,000 in 2019, you’ll receive a 1099-R tax statement in early 2020. You’ll need this form to report the distribution on your 2019 tax return.
If you’re under 59 ½ and don’t qualify for an exception, you’ll also be charged an additional 10% penalty on the total amount you withdraw. In the case above, you would owe income taxes on the $3,000 withdrawal, plus an additional $300 penalty.
Certain types of withdrawals are exempt from the early distribution penalty. This includes:
- Up to $10,000 for a first-time home purchase
- Qualifying higher education expenses for yourself, your spouse, or your children, or grandchildren
- Unreimbursed medical expenses that exceed 7.5% of your adjusted-gross-income
- Withdrawals to cover health insurance costs while you’re unemployed
- Withdrawals made after a total and permanent disability
- Withdrawals made by a beneficiary of a deceased person’s IRA
- Withdrawals made by military members serving active duty for 179 days
You can also avoid the 10% penalty by taking a series of substantially equal payments, known as a 72(t) distribution. Taking advantage of this option requires following another set of strict rules.
Taking Withdrawals from Your Roth IRA
Since you don’t get a tax deduction for the contributions you make to a Roth IRA, you can withdraw up to the total amount you’ve contributed without taxes or penalties. This is true no matter what your age or the reason for taking the withdrawal. If you need to tap into the earnings you’ve made, however, things get much more complicated.
If you’re under 59 ½ and your Roth IRA has been open for less than 5 years, you’ll owe taxes and a 10% penalty on the earnings you withdraw unless you meet one of the early withdrawal exceptions. The exceptions for Roth IRAs are the same as those for traditional IRAs.
If you’re over 59 ½ and your Roth account has been open for less than five years, you’ll owe tax on the earnings you withdraw but you won’t have to pay the 10% penalty. Once you’ve had your account for at least five years, all withdrawals, whether they come from contributions or earnings, are both tax and penalty free.
Note that the five-year window begins on the date the first contribution is made. For this reason, it’s a good idea to open a Roth account as early as possible, even if you only make a small initial contribution.
7. Required Minimum Distributions
If you own a traditional IRA account, you’ll eventually be required to start taking distributions. Once you turn 70 ½, you’ll have to withdraw – and pay taxes on – a minimum amount each year. This is known as a Required Minimum Distribution (RMD).
You might wonder why the IRS would make you take money out of your savings. The answer is quite simple. Money in an IRA account isn’t taxed until it’s withdrawn. Without required distributions, you could, in theory, leave these funds untouched for your entire lifetime. You could then pass the money down to your children, who could pass it to their children, and so on. The IRS must make sure they’ll collect taxes on this money without waiting for generations.
To solve this problem, they created a formula that’s designed to liquidate your account over your lifetime. It’s not an exact science, as many people pass away with significant amounts remaining in their IRA accounts. This money is passed onto heirs. However, the heirs are also required to take minimum distributions designed to liquidate that money over the course of their lifetimes.
Following RMD Rules
Your RMD is determined by looking at the value of your account on December 31st and applying a formula to calculate the amount you have to withdraw during the following calendar year. For every year except the first one, you must take your required distribution before December 31st.
In the year that you turn 70 ½, you get a little bit of leeway. For this calendar year only, you’re allowed to bypass the December 31st deadline and defer your distributions until the following April. During that following year, however, you’ll have to take a distribution by April 1st and another one by the end of the year. Doubling up this distribution could bump you into a higher tax bracket for that year, so you should consider this carefully before making your decision.
After the first year, you’ll have to take your required distribution by December 31st of each year. Failing to take your distribution in any given year will result in a penalty of 50% of the amount you were supposed to withdraw. If your RMD for the year was $5,000 and you forgot to take it, you would end up owing the IRS a $2,500 penalty!
Considering the severity of the consequence, you’ll definitely want to keep good records and avoid this mistake at all costs. In many cases, your IRA provider will let you know how much you’re required to take, but they’re not responsible for making sure you do it. You alone are responsible for ensuring you meet this requirement every year.
A Note About Roth IRAs
Roth IRAs don’t have a required minimum distribution. This is another advantage that can make a big difference in retirement. Many retirees who have saved a lot of money in their traditional IRA accounts find themselves having to take (and pay taxes on) large withdrawals that they don’t really need. Putting at least a portion of your savings in a Roth will give you greater flexibility in retirement.
Since you don’t have to take withdrawals, Roth IRAs allow you to pass a larger portion of your assets to your heirs in a tax-efficient manner. Once your heirs receive the funds from your Roth IRA, however, they will be required to take minimum distributions based on their life expectancy.
8. Beneficiary Designations
The last set of rules you need to understand has to do with what happens to the assets in your IRA after you pass away. When you open your IRA or Roth IRA account, you’ll be asked to designate a beneficiary. By doing this, you’re giving the custodian instructions for how to distribute the money in your account upon your death.
It’s important to understand that retirement plan beneficiary designations supersede your will and other legal documents. For this reason, you’ll want to take your time when completing this part of your application.
It’s advisable to designate both primary and contingent beneficiaries. This way, if your primary beneficiary predeceases you, your account balance can easily be distributed to the contingent beneficiary that you’ve named.
You’ll also want to check your beneficiary designations whenever you’ve had a major life change like marriage, divorce, or a death in the family. Consider, for example, that you named your spouse as your primary beneficiary and then got divorced. If you forget to go back and change the beneficiary designation, your ex-spouse would still receive the funds in your IRA account (even if you updated your will).
While your family could attempt to fight this in court, there’s a good chance it won’t work out in their favor. At a minimum, it will take a significant amount of time and legal expenses to resolve. Your best bet is to avoid this unfortunate situation by keeping track of your beneficiary designations throughout your lifetime.
IRA vs. Roth IRA: Which is Right for You?
Now that you understand the basic differences between traditional and Roth IRA accounts, it’s time for you to decide which is right for you.
One of the easiest ways to make your decision is to check your eligibility. If you exceed the earnings limits for a Roth IRA, this choice is eliminated.
However, if you qualify for a Roth IRA this is almost always the best option. The ability to grow your assets over the years and take tax-free withdrawals is a very attractive proposition. This is especially helpful for avoiding capital gains tax on high-growth stocks. Roth IRAs are also a good choice if you expect to be in a higher income tax bracket when you retire than you are in now.
Some find Roth IRAs more attractive because there are fewer complicated rules to follow and they give you additional flexibility to take withdrawals without penalties. If you’re having trouble deciding between a traditional and a Roth IRA, the Roth is usually going to be a better bet.
There are a few cases, however, when a traditional IRA might be the better choice. If you’re currently in a high income tax bracket, then the ability to take an immediate deduction can save you a significant amount of money when you file your income taxes. If you anticipate being in a lower income tax bracket at retirement, taking the IRA deduction now could make more sense.
Still not sure? No problem! You can easily open both types of accounts. This will give you the flexibility to split your contributions each year (as long as you qualify for both), or to switch between contribution types as your financial situation changes.
Once you’ve decided what type of account you want to open, you’ll be faced with another conundrum: where to open your account?
The financial institution where you open your account is also known as a “custodian.” Your custodian holds your cash and investments for safekeeping and helps ensure that the account adheres to all IRS rules. They’ll also take responsibility for creating the necessary reporting documents (like your 1099-R and 5498 tax forms) and sending copies to both you and the IRS.
When it comes to selecting a custodian, you have a ton of choices. At first glance, they’ll all seem very similar. However, when you look closer, you’ll find important differences.
Where to Open Your IRA: Evaluating Your Options
The first step in deciding where to open your IRA is to determine how much help you want along the way. Are you a very hands-on investor who wants to do your own research and execute your own trades? Or do you prefer to rely on professional advice and take a more hands-off approach to your investment strategy?
Depending on the answers to these questions, you might want to choose an online broker, robo-advisor, or a personal financial advisor. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of each.
Active investors are usually happiest opening their accounts with an online broker. This type of account will allow you to buy and sell securities according to your terms. Brokerage account expenses can quickly add up, however, so you’ll want to ask the right questions before choosing your provider.
Make sure you understand how much you’re being charged for account fees and commission expenses. You’ll also want to look for a custodian that offers a large selection of commission-free exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and no-transaction-fee mutual funds. This will help you avoid unnecessary expenses that could eat away at your investment returns.
Unless you have a large amount of money to invest, you’ll also want to find out about investment minimums. Since you’ll want to diversify your account, you need to make sure you can add a variety of funds to your portfolio without worrying about meeting minimum investment requirements.
If you’re a new investor, you’ll also want to choose a broker that offers good customer support and plenty of educational resources.
If you’re not completely comfortable with making your own investment decisions or would like some additional guidance, a robo-advisor might be a better option for you. This is an automated program that uses questionnaires to determine your investment objectives, timeline, and tolerance for risk. That information is then used to design an appropriate portfolio using low-cost funds. Once your account is allocated, it’s rebalanced periodically so it stays in line with your recommendations.
A robo-advisor gives you the advice you need at a fraction of the cost you would pay for a human investment advisor. If you find yourself constantly agonizing over how to design your portfolio, this is a great option. By automating your investment selection, you release yourself from the decision-making process, avoid paralysis by analysis, and can avoid focusing on earning and saving.
One of the primary concerns when choosing a robo-advisor is the fee you’ll pay. There are many great options available and most charge an annual fee of 0.50% or less. Remember that this fee is based on the assets in your account, so as your account grows, you’ll be paying more in dollar terms. Still, this is usually far less expensive than working with a traditional financial advisor.
Most robo-advisor relationships include your investment recommendation and automatic rebalancing. Depending on the robo-advisor you choose, you might also have access to a human investment advisor when you need one. If this is important to you, you’ll want to confirm whether it’s an available option.
Personal Financial Advisor
If you prefer to work with a human investment advisor all the time, be prepared to pay some hefty fees and remember that these fees will significantly cut into your investment returns.
Despite the cost, some people really value the personalized advice an advisor offers and want the ability to speak to a real person whenever they have questions or concerns. If you choose to go this route, you’ll want to pay close attention to your investment performance net of fees and continually evaluate whether the advice you’re receiving is worth the price you’re paying.
When you choose to work with an investment advisor, you’ll almost always have to use the custodian that the advisor recommends. Make sure you ask about that custodian’s transaction fees and other expenses and add that into the all-in cost of working with your advisor.
Other IRA Options
In addition to the options discussed above, you can also open your IRA account at a bank or credit union, directly with a mutual fund company, or even choose an alternative investment arrangement like peer-to-peer lending.
Opening an account at your bank or credit union may seem convenient, but many of these institutions restrict you to investing in a savings or money market account or a certificate of deposit (CD). In most cases, these options won’t give you enough growth to keep up with inflation, let alone meet your retirement needs.
When you choose to open an IRA or Roth directly with a mutual fund company, your investment selection will be limited to that company’s funds only. Often, there’s also a minimum investment of $1,000 or more per fund. This can make it difficult to design a properly diversified portfolio.
Peer-to-peer lending and other alternative investment arrangements can be complicated and riskier than other options. For this reason, they’re generally not recommended for novice investors.
Questions to Ask When Choosing an IRA Custodian
Asking the right questions is the final step to ensuring you’ve chosen the best custodian for your IRA account. Here are a few things you should find out before submitting your account application.
1. Is there a minimum deposit required to open an account?
If you’re rolling over a 401(k) or already have money saved up to contribute, this probably won’t be an issue. However, if you’re just starting out, you’ll want to look for a custodian that has a very low account opening minimum. Some custodians don’t have a minimum at all, making them a great choice for brand new investors.
2. What are my investment options?
As previously mentioned, the investment options available in your account will depend on which type of custodian you choose. Some, like banks and mutual fund companies, will give you a very limited selection. Robo-advisors and online brokerages usually have a much greater selection, but you’ll still want to confirm that there are plenty of low-cost options available. If you’re not happy with the selection, you’ll want to take a look at a few other custodians before committing.
3. What types of fees are associated with my account?
Almost every traditional and Roth IRA account has various fees built in. It costs money for the custodian to process your contributions and distributions, generate statements and tax forms, and provide you with online access. One of the ways they recoup these costs is by charging account fees.
Some of the most common fees you’ll pay include trading costs, commissions, annual maintenance fees, and other expenses. Before opening your account, you should receive a disclosure document that explains everything you could potentially be charged. Read this carefully, as high fees can cause a serious drag on your investment returns. If you’re using a robo-advisor or a human financial advisor, make sure you are clear on how much their service costs as well.
4. Is there anything I can do to reduce or lower my fees?
Sometimes, an IRA custodian will reduce or eliminate fees for customers who are willing to have their statements and other documents delivered electronically. This saves the company money, and they’re willing to pass some of that savings along to you. Other times, a custodian may charge less if you agree to only access your account online instead of calling their customer service line. Some companies will also waive or reduce fees once your account balance hits a certain level. Asking about these fee breaks will give you the opportunity to further reduce your costs.
5. What other services do you offer?
Before settling on a custodian, ask what kinds of services they offer. If it’s important to you to have access to research, a great website, or the ability to speak to a person, confirm whether the custodian you’re considering offers these options. Remember, though, that not all options are free. Make sure you confirm whether there’s an extra charge before you dive in.
Now It’s Time to Take Action
You now have the tools and knowledge to find the best place to open an IRA.
The only thing remaining is to take action.
Procrastination is wealth suicide on the installment plan. The sooner you open and fund an account, the sooner your savings begin to grow and the less you must save to reach your financial goals.
The IRA custodians mentioned in this article have help lines and FAQ’s to resolve any remaining issues.
Take action and begin building your savings now.