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Retirement accounts—which is right for you?

Don't stress! It's easy to find the type of retirement account that meets your needs.
3 minute read

For most people, an IRA is the way to go

If you're already saving in an employer plan up to the match—or if your employer doesn't offer a plan—your best course of action is to open an IRA, which is an account with tax benefits specifically created for retirement.

There are two types of IRAs. Most people choose a Roth IRA in order to benefit from tax-free earnings* and other perks.

No matter which kind of IRA you choose, the tax breaks you get can mean more money for your retirement.

Find out more about IRAs


If you own a small business, you have other retirement options.

Learn about our small-business plans

Maxed out your IRA? Consider a taxable account

Because the annual contribution limit for IRAs is relatively low, consider continuing to save in a general investment account.

These accounts are also called taxable accounts because you won't receive any tax breaks on these investments. But because they're not specifically created for retirement, they're also more flexible.

With taxable accounts, there's:

  • No maximum contribution.
  • No minimum age to use the money.

Learn more about taxable accounts

What's next?

Once you've selected a retirement account, you'll choose investments to hold in it—a step that can be as simple as you want it to be.

Find retirement funds for your account

Where does retirement fit into your priorities?

See how to juggle multiple financial goals

Explore professional advice

We offer expert help at the low cost you'd expect from Vanguard.

We're here to help

Talk with one of our investment specialists

Monday through Friday
8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Eastern time

We're here to help

Talk with one of our investment specialists

Monday through Friday
8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Eastern time

*As long as you've held the account 5 years and you're age 59½ or older when you withdraw the money.

All investing is subject to risk, including the possible loss of the money you invest.

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

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.