What is an IRA?
An Individual Retirement Account (IRA) is an account that allows you to save for retirement with tax-free growth or on a tax-deferred basis. There are three main types of IRAs — Traditional, Roth, and Rollover — each with different advantages.
- In a Traditional IRA, you make contributions with money you may be able to deduct on your tax return and any earnings can potentially grow tax-deferred until you withdraw them in retirement. Many retirees also find themselves in a lower tax bracket than they were in pre-retirement, so the tax-deferral means the money may be taxed at a lower rate.
- With a Roth IRA, you make contributions with money you've already paid taxes on (after-tax) and your money may potentially grow tax-free, with tax-free withdrawals in retirement, provided that certain conditions are met.2
- A Rollover IRA is a Traditional IRA intended for money "rolled over" from a qualified retirement plan. Rollovers involve moving eligible assets from an employer-sponsored plan, such as a 401(k) or 403(b), into an IRA.
Whether you choose a Traditional or Roth IRA, the tax benefits allow your savings to potentially grow, or compound, more quickly than in a taxable account.