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A traditional IRA lets you postpone taxes

Want to put off your tax bill while you put away money for your retirement? Think traditional IRA.

What is a traditional IRA?

A traditional IRA is a type of individual retirement account that lets your earnings grow tax-deferred. You pay taxes on your investment gains only when you make withdrawals in retirement.

Other traditional IRA advantages

Tax-deductible contributions

If you're not covered by a retirement plan at work, you can deduct the entire amount of your IRA contribution (up to $5,500 annually, or $6,500 if you're 50 or older) on your income tax return. If you are covered by a retirement plan, your income will dictate whether or not your contribution is deductible.

No income limit

There's no maximum income limit. You can invest in a traditional IRA no matter how much money you earn.

Some things to think about

Age limit on contributions

You can't make contributions after age 70½.

Mandatory RMDs

You must begin taking required minimum distributions (RMDs) from your account by April 1 of the calendar year following the year you reach age 70½.

Taxable withdrawals

Withdrawals may be subject to federal income tax.

The sooner, the better

The younger you are when you open your IRA, the greater your saving potential because you get that tax-free compounding clock ticking longer and harder for you.

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REFERENCE CONTENT

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Compounding

The snowball effect that happens when your earnings generate even more earnings, not only on your original investments, but also on any interest, dividends, and capital gains that accumulate. That means that your "money makes money" and can grow faster over time.