From Our Blog:

3 Common Retirement Accounts: Which One is Best for You?

UPDATED for 2021:

As a hard-working American, you spend a lot of your life punching the clock day in and day out, dreaming of the day when you can trade your business attire for a swimsuit as you relax by the beach while RETIRED!

When I think of retirement, I think of golf, tennis, DIY projects, relaxation, travel … all of the things I want to do, but work often gets in the way.

Retirement sounds awesome, right?

Unfortunately, when you stop showing up to work, those paychecks stop showing up in your bank account. That’s why it is important to start saving for retirement as soon as possible. The earlier you start saving, the longer your assets have to grow. There are lots of saving vehicles available through different types of tax deferred retirement accounts.

The list below shows the basics of a few of the most common individual retirement accounts.

Account Type: 401(k)/ 403(b)

Contributions
  • Usually made by a payroll deduction with pre-tax money
  • You can contribute up to $19,500 (or $26,000 if you are 50 or over) a year
Distributions and Withdraws
  • 10% penalty for early withdrawal (before 59 ½)
  • 20% federal income tax
  • 2-8% state tax based on state of residency
Income Limitation
  • None
Who is this account best for?
  • Anyone who has a work sponsored plan.
Account Type: Traditional IRA

Contributions
  • Made from earned income
  • May be tax deductible
  • Earnings can grow tax deferred
  • Single filers under 50 can deduct up to $6,000 if you earn less than $66,000 ($7,000 if you are 50+) a year
  • Single filers earning between $66,000-76,000 can receive partial deductions
Distribution and Withdrawals
  • Distributions before 59 ½ have a 10% penalty
  • After age 59 ½ withdrawals are penalty-free, but taxed as current income
  • Must begin taking distributions at 70 ½
Income Limitation
  • None, but contributions are not tax deductible if you earn more than $76,000 a year
Who is this account best for?
  • People who expect to be in a lower tax bracket when they begin withdrawing or taking distributions
Account Type: Roth IRA

Contributions
  • Made from earned income
  • Are not tax deductible
  • Earnings can grow tax free
  • Single filers under 50 can contribute up to $6,000 if you earn less than $125,000 ($6,500 if you are 50 or over) a year
  • Contribution limits vary based on earnings
Distribution and Withdrawals
  • After age 59 ½ and if the account has been open 5 years, earnings are tax- and penalty-free
  • Distributions are not required
Income Limitation
  • You can only contribute to a Roth if you earn less $140,000 as a single filer, or $208,000 if filing jointly
Who is this account best for?
  • People who expect to be in a higher tax bracket when they begin withdrawing or taking distributions
How Can We Help?

The amount you’re able to save will depend on several factors, like your individual financial situation and risk tolerance. Our retirement planning experts can help you determine which account type is best for you, and get you well on your way to that relaxing spot on the beach. Contact us today!
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