All you need to know about Roth IRAs

If you want a tax break, then consider a traditional IRA. If you are young and are moving along the career path, then consider opening a Roth IRA as you will get fluid investment options and tax and penalty-free withdrawals.

Roth iras
Roth IRA states that people who are 59½ and older and have owned the account for at least 5 years can withdraw money without paying any federal taxes. You can contribute up to $6000 to your account and $7000 if you are 50 years or older.

In this article

Have you ever wondered if there is a way you can make withdrawals from your retirement account without any levied penalty or taxes? Roth IRAs are the answer to this prominent question. It falls under the category of individual retirement account that provides the aforementioned facilities on withdrawals. It states that people who are 59 ½ and older and have owned the account for at least 5 years can withdraw money without paying any federal taxes. The 2021 contribution limit grossed up to $6000 ($7,000 for 50 years and older). Modified adjusted gross incomes are below $140,000 (single filers) and $208,000 (married filing jointly). 

During 2020, these figures were as follows. The contribution limit was up to $6000 ($7000 for 50 years and older). For modified adjusted gross incomes it spanned to $139,000 for single filers and $206,000 for married people filing jointly.

Key operating points of Roth IRAs

The main key framework of the Roth IRA is as follows.

  • There is no minimum distribution limit for Roth IRA, you can keep your money in the account without any withdrawals for as long as you want.
  • In 2021, you can contribute up to $6000 to your account and $7000 if you are 50 years or older.
  • Contributions are non-deductible expenses. The money that you deposit is always levied with tax and it has to be paid.
  • Individuals who have a modified adjusted gross income above (MAGI) of $140,000 (single filers) and $208,000 (married filing jointly) cannot contribute to Roth IRA. If you want a maneuver around these limits, the backdoor Roth strategy will help you.
  • People who are 59 ½  years and older and have possessed the account for at least 5 years can take distributions and earnings without any federal taxes.

Qualification criteria for Roth IRAs

The requirements for opening a Roth IRA are as follows-

You need to have an income that is earned – You must have an income that you have received from work or in IRA terms, you should have taxable compensation.

Your income must be within the limit – As mentioned above, your income should reach the limit for MAGI which can be figured out through the IRS Publication 590-A, Worksheet 2-1. You will get all the instructions and details regarding MAGI in this publication and will figure out if your income is within the directed cap.

What are the steps to starting Roth IRAs?

Roth IRAs can only be opened through a brokerage or bank. You can decide where you want to invest your deposited money in, options including mutual funds, stocks, ETF (exchange-traded futures), and bonds. 

If you are looking forward to making investments in the options mentioned, it is more advisable to open a Roth IRA through a Robo-advisor or a brokerage rather than a bank. The steps given below will further clear your mind on how to invest in the IRA.

You can add money in small contributions or the whole amount as long as it doesn’t exceed the stipulated limit. Another way to add money to Roth IRA includes doing it by rolling over money from another retirement account that you own.

Here is the difference in the offering of opening Roth IRA by the different organizations-

Banks

If you are looking to open an IRA and aim toward long-term growth through investment, banks are usually not the preferred choice because they offer savings vehicles like CDs and are not something that will aid you in investments.

Traditional brokers

They offer great advice in actively investing through Roth IRA.

Robo-advisors 

If you want a stress-free automated investment process and advice, Robo-advisor can help you with their expertise.

Distribution and withdrawals: the know-how

  • People of the age 59 ½ years old and an owner of the account for five years get to make withdrawals that are free of federal taxes.
  • It is the assumption that whenever you withdraw money from a Roth IRA, your contributions come first according to the IRA.
  • Investment earnings withdrawal that is qualified is levied with no taxes. However, some charges may be imposed by the IRS if you withdraw early or don’t meet up the requirements for a qualified withdrawal.
  • Original contributions can be withdrawn as per discretion without any penalty or taxes because the tax has already been paid.

Difference between Roth IRA and traditional IRA

If you want a tax break, then consider a traditional IRA. If you are young and are moving along the career path, then consider opening a Roth IRA as you will get fluid investment options and tax and penalty-free withdrawals when you meet the criteria mentioned above.

The upside and downside of Roth IRAs

Pros

  1. Double contribution including 401(k).
  2. Contribution time can be extended until the tax deadline.
  3. Save on taxes because you can pay taxes on the current rate if you contribute now and not the future higher rate.
  4. Withdrawals are easy.
  5. No cap on the number of distributions.
  6. Open a Roth IRA at any age as long as you have an earned income.
  7. Do tax-free withdrawals once you reach 59 ½ years of age and hold the account for at least 5 years.
  8. You choose the amount and time for contributing, either lump sum or installments as per your will.

Cons

  1. Roth IRA does not allow you to take a loan like 401(k).
  2. Withdrawing money earlier than the decided date needs you to pay a 10% penalty.

This page is purely informational. Line does not provide financial, legal or accounting advice. This article has been prepared for informational purposes only. It is not intended to provide financial, legal or accounting advice and should not be relied on for the same. Please consult your own financial, legal and accounting advisors before engaging in any transactions.

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