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Put More Solid Financial Ground Under Your Feet With Individual Retirement Accounts

Individual Retirement Accounts (IRA)

Eager to retire early and enjoy spending more time with your family? Passionate about starting a small business in retirement? No matter what you envision down the road, an Individual Retirement Account (IRA) may help you get there. With company pension plans becoming a thing of the past, taking charge of your own financial stability in retirement is more important than ever. An IRA can enhance your Social Security income and help you invest additional retirement money. Plus, you can leverage certain tax advantages along the way.

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Different IRAs Have Different Features & Benefits

A traditional IRA allows you to invest pre-tax money now and pay taxes on your contributions and earnings later. If you anticipate being in a lower tax bracket in retirement, investing in a traditional IRA may make more sense. That way you can enjoy tax-deferred growth of your money. Roth IRAs work a little differently. They offer tax-free withdrawals of contributions at any time — giving you more freedom and ready access to your assets. In order to withdraw earnings/interest, you must be 59 ½ years old and you must have owned the IRA for at least 5 years. There are some exceptions.

Your choice of IRA can also affect your current tax situation. Contributions to a traditional IRA may be tax-deductible, while those to a Roth IRA are not. Generally, you cannot begin withdrawing money from a traditional IRA or earnings from a Roth IRA until you reach age 59 ½, without incurring a tax penalty. However, there are certain financial situations — like paying for higher education and buying a first home — for which tax penalties do not apply.
Benefits Traditional IRA Roth IRA
Tax-Deductible Contributions Take advantage of possible annual deductions on your federal income taxes
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Tax-Free Growth Make tax free withdrawals of interest and earnings in accordance with applicable rules
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Tax-Deferred Growth Enjoy long-term growth of your money and pay taxes later when you make withdrawals
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No Required Minimum Distributions Access your savings without worrying about mandatory withdrawals by a certain age
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No Age Contribution Limit Continue to contribute money from your earned income at any age
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Life Transitions: When to Consider a Rollover or Roth Conversion 

Transitions are a fact of life, and often they affect the road to retirement. That's when IRAs can provide further flexibility via rollovers and Roth conversions. If you are starting a new job and need to consolidate retirement accounts, you may want to think about a rollover transaction. An IRA rollover is a transfer of funds from other sources — like lump-sum distributions from pension, profit-sharing, 401(k), 403(b), or governmental 457 plans, or transfers from other IRAs — into a new or existing IRA. By rolling over, you will avoid paying any tax penalties, as long as the rollover is completed within 60 days of the initial distribution. Keep in mind that there may be 20% withholding on a rollover.

Another major life transition is leaving the workforce. Do you anticipate paying more or less taxes in retirement? Tax rules permit you to convert your traditional IRA into a Roth IRA if certain rules are followed.  Converting to a Roth IRA will reduce tax liability when retirement distributions are taken or reduce taxes paid by beneficiaries. Keep in mind, though, that the amount converted is taxable in the year the conversion occurs. And that tax money has to come from another source — you are not allowed to pay the taxes using any of the converted funds (otherwise you may be subject to an early withdrawal penalty). Not all Roth conversions result in tax savings. Be sure to consult your tax professional to discuss your IRA strategy and decide what is best for you.

Learn More About Individual Retirement Accounts

Start with these educational articles to help empower you to make more informed decisions about your financial future. 
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Why IRAs From Western & Southern? 

As you take charge of your future financial stability with an individual retirement account (IRA), you want to partner with a company with a history of financial strength. Ratings agencies consistently recognize Western & Southern for our financial stability and operating performance. Our experienced financial professionals can help guide you toward a more stable retirement.


Western & Southern Financial Group and its affiliates do not provide tax or legal advice. Please contact your tax or legal advisor regarding your situation. The information provided is for educational purposes only.

Withdrawals of taxable amounts from qualified accounts are subject to ordinary income tax, and, if taken before age 59½, may be subject to a 10% IRS penalty.