10. ROTH IRA

Updated: May 13



• Contributions to a Roth are not deductible, so taxes are paid at your current tax rate.

• When the Roth funds are distributed, your tax rate is immaterial as the principal has already been taxed, and the earnings are tax-free.

• You would need to satisfy a five-year waiting period to receive the fund's penalty-free

• The length of time that you keep the investment favors the Roth IRA with the tax-free growth of the earnings.

• There is no required minimum distribution (RMD) of the Roth. The amount of any distributions is discretionary and can remain in there to pass onto your heirs.


While an immediate tax deduction may seem like a good idea, planning for retirement and weighing the different options is important. However, the most important factor is to have a

retirement savings plan. The following data comes per the Federal Reserve's Survey of Consumer Finances. (numbers rounded to the nearest

hundred.)


Roth vs Traditional IRA:

When making the decision of how to invest your retirement funds, you should consider several factors. Say, for example, that your tax rate is 32% and you plan to invest $5,000 in an IRA which is earning 6% interest. And, further, neither you nor your spouse has a qualified plan through work so the full amount would be deductible. Do you take advantage Of the current year's reduction in taxable income or plan for the tax-free distribution of earnings at retirement?

Traditional and Roth IRAs allow you to save money for retirement. This chart highlights some of their similarities and differences.

Features

Traditional IRA

Roth IRA

Who can contribute?

You can contribute if you (or your spouse if filing jointly) have taxable compensation. Prior to January 1, 2020, you were unable to contribute if you were age 70½ or older.

You can contribute at any age if you (or your spouse if filing jointly) have taxable compensation and your modified adjusted gross income is below certain amounts (see 2020 and 2021 limits).

Are my contributions deductible?

You can deduct your contributions if you qualify.

Your contributions aren’t deductible.

How much can I contribute?

The most you can contribute to all of your traditional and Roth IRAs is the smaller of:

  • For 2019, $6,000, or $7,000 if you’re age 50 or older by the end of the year; or

  • your taxable compensation for the year.

  • For 2020, $6,000, or $7,000 if you’re age 50 or older by the end of the year; or

  • your taxable compensation for the year.

  • For 2021, $6,000, or $7,000 if you’re age 50 or older by the end of the year; or

  • your taxable compensation for the year.

What is the deadline to make contributions?

Your tax return filing deadline (not including extensions). For example, you can make 2020 IRA contributions until April 15, 2021.

When can I withdraw money?

You can withdraw money anytime.

Do I have to take required minimum distributions?

You must start taking distributions by April 1 following the year in which you turn age 72 (70 1/2 if you reach the age of 70 ½ before January 1, 2020) and by December 31 of later years.

Not required if you are the original owner.

Are my withdrawals and distributions taxable?

Any deductible contributions and earnings you withdraw or that are distributed from your traditional IRA are taxable. Also, if you are under age 59 ½ you may have to pay an additional 10% tax for early withdrawals unless you qualify for an exception.

None if it’s a qualified distribution (or a withdrawal that is a qualified distribution). Otherwise, part of the distribution or withdrawal may be taxable. If you are under age 59 ½, you may also have to pay an additional 10% tax for early withdrawals unless you qualify for an exception.


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