A Traditional IRA is a retirement option that allows individuals to save pre-tax dollars in any investment, such as stocks, bonds, or mutual funds. Contributions to traditional IRAs are not deductible, but investment earnings will be tax-deferred until withdrawn. Unlike Roth IRAs, contributions to Traditional IRAs are made with after-tax income and generally don’t have an upper limit on when they are withdrawn. Here are some of the benefits of a traditional IRA.
1. Traditional IRAs are Tax-Deferred
Traditional IRAs are different from Roth IRAs, meaning that money you contribute to your IRA will not be deductible on your taxes. This is because Traditional IRAs still count as a contribution to your retirement account. Withdrawals made within five years of the initial contribution are considered part of the tax-deferred period and can be withdrawn tax-free.
After that withdrawal, the earnings inside the account will be taxed as ordinary income, and you will have to pay taxes on the income you receive from the account outside of retirement.
2. Contributions to Traditional IRAs are Made at Any Time
One of the biggest advantages of a Traditional IRA is that you can contribute to it throughout your life, unlike 401(k)s, which have an age cap on when you can contribute. You can also make your contribution to a traditional IRA tax-deductible by making contributions with pre-tax money through an employer-sponsored plan. However, this will limit the amount you can put in each year and add more fees than if you contributed with after-tax money.
3. Traditional IRAs tend to be more flexible than 401(k)s
Another advantage of a Traditional IRA is that withdrawals can be made at any time without penalty, unlike 401(k)s which have mandatory age limits (55 and over) and incur a 10% penalty if you withdraw before the age of 59.5 years.
Therefore, you can use Traditional IRA as a savings or a pure investment account through which you can invest in anything from stocks to real estate. You can also use it as an emergency fund since there aren’t restrictions on when withdrawals must be made.
4. Contributions are Available for Younger Investors
Unlike other retirement accounts like the 401(k), there is no immediate age cap on when you can start contributing to a Traditional IRA. You can start investing as soon as you have access to your income and contribute up to $5,500 yearly or $6,500 if you’re over 50.
At first, it might not seem like that large of an amount, especially if you make less than $50,000 per year or have a lower net worth than most people your age. According to a recent study conducted by the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI), Americans aged 40-59 have the highest savings rates of any age group, with average savings of $9,723 per person.
5. There are Many Options for Investing
Deciding where to invest your IRA is probably one of the most challenging decisions that you will have to make. However, it’s a good thing that there are so many options available since choosing one can be difficult.
At first, you might consider sticking with the network of your employer’s retirement plan. Still, it would be best if you also thought about going outside of it and finding a more flexible IRA that allows you to invest in other types of assets.
6. Protection from Creditors
With a Traditional IRA, you are protected from creditors since your retirement account is considered an extension of your home. So if a creditor attaches your IRA, you can easily keep it safe from bankruptcy through an assignment of benefits or qualified domestic order (QODO).
It’s also important to note that the United States Government or any state government cannot touch your IRA during a period of bankruptcy. But if you have both a Traditional IRA and Roth IRA, the IRS requires them to protect at least $1 million in IRAs each.
Traditional IRAs are a great way to save for your future and build up your retirement funds. They can be used as a supplemental retirement or standalone account, allowing you to invest in anything from stocks to real estate without being tied down by your employer’s plan.