Making smart financial decisions now can help impact how you live in retirement
Making smart financial decisions now can help impact how you live in retirement. We can assist you along the way with our Individual Retirement Account (IRA) program—it’s designed to help you reach your retirement goals.
An IRA is a tax-deferred personal savings account that allows you to save for retirement without a company-sponsored plan. Throughout your lifetime, you can make tax-deductible “contributions” to your IRA, which you can then invest in basic securities such as stocks and bonds.
With a traditional IRA—the most common type of IRA—income taxes are deferred until you withdraw them, so you don’t pay annual federal (and, in many cases, state) income taxes on your earnings. At age 59 ½, you can make taxable withdrawals from the account called distributions for your retirement. If you choose to take distributions before you turn 59 ½ years old, the government imposes a premature distribution penalty of 10% on your withdrawal. Additionally, when you turn 70 ½ years old, you are required to take distributions by April 1 of the calendar year.
Unlike the traditional IRA, contributions to the Roth IRA are considered “after-tax” and therefore not deductible, but you can take distributions from the Roth IRA tax-free. The maximum annual contribution to the Roth IRA for 2018 is $5,500, with an additional $1,000 “catch up” contribution allowed each year for individuals age 50 and older (as of December 31 of the tax year to which the contribution relates).
The Roth IRA became an option after the Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997, and allows for investors filing single on their taxes with a modified adjusted gross income in 2018 of less than $132,000 or married couples filing jointly with a combined adjusted gross income of less than $194,000 annually, to make limited, annual contributions toward retirement. There is no mandatory age at which you are required to take distributions from the Roth IRA, and there is no premature distribution penalty for amounts you withdraw from the principal.
The Coverdell Education Savings Account or Education IRA is a trust created exclusively for the purpose of paying qualified education expenses. You can contribute up to $2,000 per year to the account and those contributions will grow tax-free until distributed. In addition, the beneficiary will not owe tax on the distributions if they are less than a beneficiary’s adjusted qualified education expenses at an eligible institution.
SIMPLE stands for Savings Incentive Match Plan for Employees. This is a traditional IRA that is set up for employees and allows both employees and employers to contribute. If you’re an employer of a small business who needs to get started with a retirement plan, a SIMPLE-IRA may be for you. SIMPLE-IRA’s provide some degree of flexibility in that employers can choose to either offer a matching contribution to their employee’s retirement account or make nonelective contributions. In addition, employees can choose to make salary reduction contributions to their own retirement account. Some small business owners opt for a SIMPLE-IRA because they find the maintenance costs are lower compared with other plans.1,2
Distributions from SIMPLE-IRAs are taxed as ordinary income, and if taken before age 59½, may be subject to a 10% federal income tax penalty. Generally, once you reach age 72, you must begin taking required minimum distributions.
For a business to use a SIMPLE-IRA, it typically must have fewer than 100 employees and cannot have any other retirement plans in place.1