Three Reasons to Open an IRA Today

Last month, we discussed the benefits of saving more for retirement in 2014. If you didn’t make it an official resolution, rest assured it’s never too late – or too soon – to commit to a financial plan that protects and grows your retirement savings. At Ally Bank, we offer a variety of IRA accounts that can be the cornerstone of your retirement savings strategy.

IRA Image_More Money More TaxesHere are four basic reasons to open an IRA today.

1. Simplify your savings

Baby boomers between 50 and 55 worked about 11 jobs by the time they reached their 40s, according to CNN Money. Since many people start saving for retirement using an employer-sponsored 401(k), you might go through your career accumulating 11 (more or less) retirement savings accounts.

Fortunately, you can roll your “orphan” 401(k)s into a single IRA account. That can help to streamline your finances and allows you to see your retirement savings in a single picture, instead of keeping an eye on numerous accounts.

Does it always make sense to rollover? Not necessarily. Here are some unique situations when a rollover may not make sense, according to Forbes.

2. Decrease your taxable income

The more money you earn, the more money you owe in taxes depending on allowable deductions. As Investopedia points out, one way to avoid paying more in taxes is to decrease your taxable income by contributing to a traditional IRA.

Investopedia notes that when you put money into one of these accounts, you may be able to deduct all or part of contributions from your income, depending on a variety of factors. This, in turn, reduces your taxable income. Once you start to withdraw money from the account (if you do so before turning 59.5 years old there is an additional tax), the money is taxed as ordinary income. As always, it’s important to consult a tax professional to understand how contributions to a traditional IRA may decrease your taxable income.

3. Withdraw savings tax-free

Investopedia also notes that when you contribute money to a Roth IRA, you might be able to enjoy tax-free savings and distributions. While you may not get a tax deduction on these savings (like you can with a traditional IRA), when it comes time to withdraw money from the account it is tax-free, provided you meet certain requirements.

If tax-free withdraws sounds right for you, it’s important to know that you can roll money from a traditional IRA into a Roth IRA. Depending on your age, current tax benefits and income after retirement, it can make sense to do a Roth IRA conversion. You can learn more about this process here.

Whether you’re interested in a traditional or Roth IRA, it’s important to check with a tax professional to determine which approach is best for your situation.

 How many 401(k) accounts do you have? What’s your number one reason for having an IRA?

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