Traditional IRA, Roth IRA, 401k Make Your Choice

traditional IRA-Cash

Financial independence is important throughout your life. While you may be stable financially when working. There is also the need to plan for your retirement days. A Traditional IRA or a Roth IRA can come into play.

For many citizens, in this country those guaranteed pension plans are not applicable. Even those who tend to depend on Social Security. May be disappointed to learn that it is not enough. To take care of the responsibilities and expenses of retirement, and other responsibilities that await for them.

This suggests that one must plan for the best possible retirement and how to save for today. So that they can live well in the golden years. There are three ways of savings or planning for the retirement years. And they include the Traditional IRA, Roth IRA as well as 401K.

Any retirement saving aim to ensure that you have enough money sacked away for you at retirement. To take care of your expenses. It is therefore, advisable that you understand the three plans mentioned above. Choose which one of them is better for you in the future. Which of the plans is going to accumulate more money for you?

Before you participate in any of the programs. You need to know how they work as well as the benefits you can derive from them. Read on to find out which investment account is right for you.

Traditional IRA- cash in hands

Traditional IRA

A Traditional IRA is a perfect solution for those who want to enhance their tax-deferred retirement savings. IRA stands for Individual Retirement Account. Contributions are made pre-tax. If your contributions are automatically deducted, it can offer you tax benefits. A Traditional IRA makes it easier for contributions to grow tax-deferred.

When you want to withdraw your contributions. You are going to pay personal income tax on the withdrawals you have made. After you reach 72 years you can start to take distributions. If you want to open a traditional IRA there are no income limitations.

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This type of investment has some contribution limits. If you are under the age of fifty years of age your contribution limits are $6000. If you are above 50 years old you are allowed “catch up contributions” the limit is $7000.

There can be changes to that limitation. It depends on certain factors. First it depends on the gross income. Depending on your age, there can be an increase or decrease.

Secondly, if you file your taxes together with that of your spouse. Or you file it separately, it can affect the contribution limit. The point you should note here is that the more money you make. The less money you are allowed to contribute under the current guidelines.

Traditional IRA Taxes And Withdrawals

Under this program you can deduct that contribution from your gross income. Before you do that, you must first meet the requirements. That includes satisfying the conditions stipulated for adjusted gross income as well as the employer-sponsored retirement plan.

When it comes to withdrawal from the account. You can withdraw without penalties as long as the withdrawal is made after age 59 1/2. You should know however that your withdrawal is taxed. This means that you pay income tax for any amount you withdraw from the account.

Traditional IRA- forms and pen

If you decide to withdraw from the account before reaching age 59 1/2. You will have to pay a ten percent penalty of the withdrawn amount in addition to the income tax. However, there are instances where the ten percent fees do not apply. It is only in a situation of hardship distributions.

Another thing you need to know about the traditional IRA is the Minimum distributions.

If you are prudent in managing your Traditional IRA account. Your money will grow to a nice amount by the time you retire from service. It is a wise decision to allow it to grow and allow the compound interests to multiply.

The government requires that holders of that account must perform mandatory withdrawals. Which are known as the required minimum distribution. This must happen by April 1 the year when you have reached seventy years and a half. This means that even if you do not want to withdraw from that account. You must still withdraw from them, and you must pay tax for the money you withdraw.


The Roth IRA is another type of individual retirement account. This account is a little different from the traditional IRA. The major differences here lie in the contributions you make. The money you contribute must come after taxes are paid.

Traditional IRA is pretax while A Roth IRA is post-tax. A benefit of this retirement account. Is that when you want to withdraw your earnings, you are not going to be taxed. This is the first major difference between the traditional IRA and the Roth IRA.

When it comes to investment, you can also invest in securities just as you can do with your traditional IRA. Many people can select self-direction Roth IRA. The same limitations that apply to the traditional counterpart can apply to this one as well.

This means that you are allowed $6000 when you are under the age of fifty years. The investment can reach up to $7000 when you are above fifty years of age. The same thing that applies to a traditional IRA. Can apply here as you get lower contribution limits the higher your adjusted gross income.

Withdrawals From Roth IRA

You can make a withdrawal from your account once you have reached 59 1/2 years of age. Without incurring an early withdrawal penalty of 10% of the withdrawal amount. Such withdrawals at that age are tax-free and it is penalty-free as well.

The free tax policy here only affects the money you have contributed into the account. If you decide to make withdrawals of the earnings the contributions have accumulated. The earnings are going to be taxed. You are going to pay a ten percent penalty fee as well for that withdrawal.

However, there could be exemptions and that depends on where the money that is withdrawn is channeled to. You can get exemptions if you apply such money to college education, medical bills or premiums. As well as first time home buyer payments. Even here certain limitations apply.

One thing important to note under this program is that. The Roth IRA does not have anything to do with the minimum distribution requirement. The money that is put in and accumulated in the Roth IRA. Does not have a required minimum distribution age for the life of the account.


The 401k is quite different from the two retirement accounts discussed above. This account is different from an IRA and it is sponsored from an employer. However, there are some areas of similarities with the traditional IRAs and it is includes the pretax money.

The contributions here are funded by you and your employer. The money is then put into the 401k investment account. There usually is some qualifying guidelines before you can participate in an employers 401 k plan. Such as time needed to work for the company before qualifying to participate.

There is sometimes the benefit of an employer matching your contribution or part of it. For example some employers will match your 401k contribution dollar for dollar. For each dollar you contribute they will put in another dollar on your behalf. 100% return on investment off the bat! You can’t turn that down.

The investment options you make here are not totally under your control. It depends on what your employer is willing to offer on your behalf. Before this investment is settled upon, your company will negotiate and agree with the investment brokerage company as well.

Contribution Limits

The amount you can contribute to the 401 K program differs. For instance, this year (2020) the contribution limit has increased from $19,000 last year to $19,500. The “catch up” contribution limit if you are aged 50 or over. Increased from $6000 last year to $6500 in 2020.

Matching contributions can differ from one company to another. You must understand this aspect very well. Before looking to participate in your employers 401k plan. Be sure to ask any and all questions you have in mind.

It is best to know all the details of an investment account before you decide to make that move. This will prevent any unwanted surprises from happening. Also, it will help you to make the most informed decisions in your money management.

The total contributions towards this 401K will not be more than $57,000 up $1,000 from 2019. Or $63,000 with the catch-up contributions under the plan. The vesting schedule under the program is the minimum amount of time that you put to work for the company. Before you are allowed access to the matching contributions.

This has to do with those contributions which the company has made on your behalf. The ones you make for yourself are always your own and you can always have access to them.

Traditional IRA- cash

Withdrawing Money From A 401K

The withdrawal policy appears to be similar in the Traditional IRA, Roth IRA and the 401k plans. Once you have reached the age of 59 and a half years. You are allowed to make penalty free withdrawals from that fund. However, you are required to pay regular tax for any amount you withdraw from the account.

Another time you can withdraw from the contributions is when you have reached the age of 55. At that time you must have stopped working for the company. If you are still working with the company, you must reach the age of 59 and a half. If you decide to withdraw earlier than the stipulated time. Then you will be subjected to income tax as well as a ten percent early withdrawal penalty.

The only way you can withdraw from your 401k without penalty. Is when you use it as a line of credit. The amount here still depends on what your employers are willing to offer. You are entitled to withdraw from the amount you have contributed and not from the company-matched funds

This is how the three plans discussed above compare to one another. These points have been well discussed in the presentation made above.

Both the traditional IRA and the Roth IRA are self-sponsored while the 401k is employer-sponsored.

When it comes to taxation, there are similarities and differences here. There is a similarity between the traditional IRA and the 401K. The similarity here is that both contributions are pre-taxed. The Roth IRA is after-tax contributions.

Contribution limits also vary. For the traditional IRA and Roth IRA, under 50 years old contributions are $6000. While over 50 years of age limits are $7000. This is not the case with 401k, they are allowed $19,500 plus $6,500 for those over 50 years of age.

When it comes to withdrawals, early withdrawals without reaching the ripe age of 59 and a half years. Can attract income tax and a ten percent penalty for the holders of a Traditional IRA. For the Roth IRA, there is no income tax. As taxes were paid. But when one does not reach the ripe age of 59 and a half years, ten percent penalties could apply. Holders of a 401k will pay income tax as well as a ten percent penalty for early withdrawals.

These are the three retirement plans available for you to consider and make apart of your retirement plans. Deciding which of these accounts will be a good fit for you can be complex. Go over all the information presented here. Then, hopefully it can help you decide which of the accounts is right for you.


If you’re savvy enough you can make all of these types of accounts part of your portfolio. Whatever the case, the sooner you start to invest the better. The more time you give your money to grow. The more chance it will have to reach your goals.


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