Accounts & Plans

Individual retirement accounts (IRAs)

Save for your future your way. Owning a Vanguard IRA® means you get flexibility. We have a variety of accounts and investments to choose from. And if you ever feel the need to partner with a professional, we've got options for that too.

What if you could get tax-free growth and withdrawals?*

What's an IRA?

Why open an IRA?

  • Tax-deferred growth—Earnings within your account can grow tax-free.

  • Investment flexibility—You can choose from a wider range of investment choices than what's offered by most employer plans.

  • Secure your retirement—Use an IRA to start saving for retirement or to supplement and help diversify savings you may have in other retirement accounts.

Why Vanguard?

We're owned by the investors who own our funds,** and that's everyday people like you. Your goals are our goals.

Types of IRAs we offer

Roth IRA
  • You won't be able to deduct your Roth IRA contribution.
  • You won't pay taxes on withdrawals of your earnings as long as you take them after you've reached age 59½ and you've met the 5-year-holding-period requirement.
  • Income limitations apply.
  • If your spouse is earning low or no annual wages, they may be able to open a spousal IRA to save tax-efficiently for retirement.
Traditional IRA
  • You may be able to deduct some or all of your traditional IRA contributions.
  • You'll pay ordinary income tax on withdrawals of earnings and on any contributions you originally deducted on your taxes.
  • No income limitations.
  • If your spouse is earning low or no annual wages, they may be able to open a spousal IRA to save tax-efficiently for retirement.

How your savings can add up

Note that the hypothetical examples don't represent the returns on any particular investments and the rates of return aren't guaranteed.

While the annual IRA contribution limit of $7,000 may not seem like much, you can stack up significant savings.

Pay less and keep more. The average Vanguard mutual fund expense ratio is 82% lower than the industry average.†

At age 50, you qualify for a $1,000 IRA catch-up contribution—jumping your annual limit to $8,000—potentially increasing the power of compounding, which could mean greater savings for you over time.

Tools to help you plan your retirement

Retirement income calculator

See if what you've been saving—or planning to save—is on track for your retirement income needs.

Retirement expense worksheet

Use this calculator to create a realistic retirement budget that includes basic and discretionary expenses.

Retirement income worksheet

Identify your income sources and estimate your monthly income in retirement.

Helpful resources

Investing on your own?

Check out key information you can use as you begin your successful DIY investing journey.

Looking for professional advice?

We offer expert help at the low cost we're known for.

Have a nonretirement savings goal?

We have a variety of accounts to select from. See which best fits your savings needs.

Pick investments for your IRA
Keep it simple with an "all in one" fund that does some of the work for you, or customize your own portfolio.
401(k) vs. IRA? Use both if you can
How much you save now may determine how comfortable you are in retirement. Combining 401(k)s and IRAs can make it even comfier.
Getting to a complete retirement plan
Educate our investors on various aspects of retirement they should prepare for.

Frequently asked questions

*Withdrawals from a Roth IRA are tax-free if you're age 59½ or older and have held the account for at least 5 years; withdrawals taken prior to age 59½ or 5 years may be subject to ordinary income tax or a 10% federal penalty tax, or both. (A separate 5-year period applies for each conversion and begins on the first day of the year in which the conversion contribution is made.) The 5-year holding period for Roth IRAs starts on the earlier of: (1) the date you first contributed directly to the Roth IRA, (2) the date you rolled over a Roth 401(k) or Roth 403(b) to the Roth IRA, or (3) the date you converted a traditional IRA to the Roth IRA. If you're under age 59½ and you have one Roth IRA that holds proceeds from multiple conversions, you're required to keep track of the 5-year holding period for each conversion separately.

**Vanguard is owned by its funds, which are owned by Vanguard's fund shareholder clients. 

†Vanguard average expense ratio: 0.08%. Industry average expense ratio: 0.44%. All averages are asset-weighted. Industry averages exclude Vanguard. Sources: Vanguard and Morningstar, Inc., as of December 31, 2023.

For more information about Vanguard mutual funds or Vanguard ETFs, obtain a mutual fund or an ETF prospectus or, if available, a summary prospectus. Investment objectives, risks, charges, expenses, and other important information are contained in the prospectus; read and consider it carefully before investing.

Vanguard ETF Shares are not redeemable with the issuing Fund other than in very large aggregations worth millions of dollars. Instead, investors must buy and sell Vanguard ETF Shares in the secondary market and hold those shares in a brokerage account. In doing so, the investor may incur brokerage commissions and may pay more than net asset value when buying and receive less than net asset value when selling. 

Investments in target-date funds are subject to the risks of their underlying funds. The year in the fund name refers to the approximate year (the target date) when an investor in the fund would retire and leave the workforce. The fund will gradually shift its emphasis from more aggressive investments to more conservative ones based on its target date. An investment in target date funds is not guaranteed at any time, including on or after the target date.

When taking withdrawals from an IRA before age 59½, you may have to pay ordinary income tax plus a 10% federal penalty tax.

All investing is subject to risk, including the possible loss of the money you invest. There is no guarantee that any particular asset allocation or mix of funds will meet your investment objectives or provide you with a given level of income. Diversification does not ensure a profit or protect against a loss.

Vanguard's advice services are provided by Vanguard Advisers, Inc. ("VAI"), a registered investment advisor, or by Vanguard National Trust Company ("VNTC"), a federally chartered, limited-purpose trust company.

The services provided to clients will vary based upon the service selected, including management, fees, eligibility, and access to an advisor. Find VAI's Form CRS and each program's advisory brochure here for an overview.

VAI and VNTC are subsidiaries of The Vanguard Group, Inc., and affiliates of Vanguard Marketing Corporation. Neither VAI, VNTC, nor its affiliates guarantee profits or protection from losses.