When Conducting an IRA Comparison

By: Craig Thornburrow

When you are looking to invest for retirement it is important to run an IRA comparison to see which of the two types of IRAs is going to work best for you. The two types that you can choose from are a traditional IRA or a Roth IRA. Either option will save you money, however each one has specific benefits and you will need to carefully look at the difference as choosing the wrong one can actually take money out of your pocket.

There are several key areas that you should look at when doing your comparison. The first thing to look at is which one you qualify for as each one has their own set of qualifications. Qualifying for the traditional IRA is easy, any one under the age of 70 1/2 years that is earning an income or any nonworking spouse that is on a joint income tax return of someone working and both people are under 70 1/2 years old can apply. The Roth is a bit more complicated and is figured by your modified adjusted gross income (MAGI). There are certain restrictions that apply for how much can contribute depending on your MAGI and your marital status. These levels of income can change yearly so it is important to get an accurate chart each year.

Another thing that you should also consider when you are doing an IRA comparison is how the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) looks at your contributions. For example, the traditional IRA the money is taken from your paycheck before you pay taxes on it. However when you begin to take the money out during your retirement you will pay taxes on the amount you withdraw. The Roth IRA works in the complete opposite way. You put money in after you have been taxed but once you begin withdrawing the money you do not pay taxes on it again.

Tax deduction allowance amounts also differ on the plans. With the Roth, you get no tax deductions on your contributions. The traditional plan gives you the ability to receive a tax deductions. How much you are able to deduct depends on three things: your marital status, your enrollment into a retirement plan, and your MAGI. Each scenario has limits on it which can also change yearly so you will need to keep track of any changes.

Saving for retirement is important as you never know if social security will even be around when you retire. When you are trying to figure out which way is the best way to go you may want to speak to a tax expert as either of these two plans have tax implication for both now and later when you are withdrawing the funds. A tax expert will help you determine which plan is going to benefit you the most and keep you from making any errors. When looking to use an IRA for your retirement savings there are several areas that require you to do an IRA comparison and see which one works best for you.

Retirement
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