Decide which type of investment account you need

It's easy to figure out the right type of account—just start with what you're saving for.

Saving for retirement?


Enjoy tax benefits with an IRA

As long as you (or your spouse) are employed and earning income, you can invest in an IRA to help prepare for a financially comfortable retirement.

You can open an IRA with as little as $1,000.* It's also a great way to complement a 401(k) or 403(b) plan you're investing in at work.

Choose between a Roth IRA and a traditional IRA based on your income**, age, and preference for how you want to pay taxes.

Compare Roth & traditional IRAs


If you're self-employed or own a small company

We can help simplify your retirement plan so you can stay focused on running your business. Choose between:

  • An individual 401(k).
  • A SEP-IRA.

Compare small-business retirement plans

Saving for something other than retirement?


Open an individual or joint account

With as little as $1,000,* you can open an account on your own or jointly with someone else.

These types of accounts are useful if:

  • You've maxed out your retirement contributions for the year and want to save even more.
  • You want to put away money in a money market or short-term bond fund that you'll have easy access to. For example, you may want to build an emergency fund or have a big vacation or event coming up.

Open your account online

Consider tax-efficient mutual funds for your taxable accounts


Set aside money for a child

529 college savings plans let you reduce your taxes when you're saving for a child's education.†

UGMA/UTMA accounts are useful if you don't want to earmark the money specifically for college.

Learn more about UGMA/UTMA accounts

Other types of accounts and designations

Open a trust account to hold investments that are tied to an existing personal trust.

Name an attorney-in-fact to identify another person—like your lawyer or someone you've named as power of attorney—to act on your account on your behalf.

Set up an account for an organization—including corporations, partnerships, limited liability corporations, and sole proprietorships; endowments and foundations; estates; professional associations; or unincorporated enterprises.

*The minimum initial investment for Vanguard Target Retirement Funds and Vanguard STAR Fund is $1,000. A $3,000 minimum applies to most other funds. Fund-specific details are provided in each fund profile.

**Roth IRA contribution limits may apply if your income exceeds federal limits. Visit for details

†The availability of tax or other benefits may be contingent on meeting other requirements.

An investment in a money market fund is not insured or guaranteed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation or any other government agency. Although a money market fund seeks to preserve the value of your investment at $1 per share, it is possible to lose money by investing in such a fund.

All investing is subject to risk, including the possible loss of the money you invest. Bond funds are subject to interest rate risk, which is the chance bond prices overall will decline because of rising interest rates, and credit risk, which is the chance a bond issuer will fail to pay interest and principal in a timely manner or that negative perceptions of the issuer's ability to make such payments will cause the price of that bond to decline.

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