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How to Open and Use Your Roth IRA

by Louise W. Rice
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Unpredictable events such as the COVID-19 pandemic could prevent you from saving as much money as you’d like, or you may be spending your reserves on important needs. As a result, you might be considering ways to help protect your financial stability from any more unforeseen circumstances.

One such way might be to open and use a Roth IRA account. The main benefit of this sort of account is ensuring that you are putting money away for your eventual retirement instead of using everything too early to mitigate certain disasters.

When opening a retirement account, there are multiple ways you can generate income now so you can enjoy more financial returns. Additionally, you may also want to make sure that your mental health is well taken care of as well so you can make the best moves for your future.

Sources such as BetterHelp can help you by providing advice for managing mental health and finances alike, which may, in turn, assist you in other parts of your life, such as investing in a Roth IRA.

What is a Roth IRA?

When opening a Roth IRA, you are creating an individual retirement account and putting in money from various sources of investment. The contributions you place in a Roth IRA can grow without being affected by taxes.

Furthermore, you can withdraw from your Roth IRA without incurring taxes or any other penalty. However, you can only withdraw money without fees if you are 59 and a half years or older, and the account must have been open for at least five years.

Benefits of Roth IRA

Many people may choose Roth IRA for the plentiful benefits it provides. These include, but are not limited to:

  • No age restrictions. You are free to deposit money into your account for as many years as possible and at any age. However, you must have enough income to qualify for the account.
  • Required Minimum Distributions are not required. There are no mandatory withdrawals, meaning you can allow your savings to grow while you enjoy your retirement.
  • No taxes on inherited Roth IRAs. For those whom you may pass your Roth IRA onto, withdrawals will also be free of income taxes.

What is the difference between a traditional IRA and Roth IRA?

Traditional IRAs lack some of the key benefits of Roth IRAs, along with a few other key differences.

These include:

  • While the amount you can contribute to both IRA and Roth IRA is the same, for the former, your contribution can be reduced depending on your modified adjusted gross income.
  • Your MAGI is required to be lower than that of the annual limit mandated by the IRS to get the most out of your contributions for a Roth IRA account.
  • You cannot deduct your Roth IRA contribution; however, you might be able to deduct some or all of your traditional IRA contributions, which could depend on if you or your spouse is covered by a work’s retirement plan.
  • Withdrawals of all traditional IRA earnings will come with an ordinary tax, as opposed to Roth IRA, which has no taxes for withdrawals.

How to Open a Roth IRA account

After learning of the benefits of a Roth IRA and how it differs from a traditional IRA account, you may have made your decision to open a Roth IRA account.

There are a few steps to get you well on your way.

Determine how much assistance you would like

Ask yourself, what type of investor would you like to become? Would you like to handle your investments with the help of a professional, or would you like to have a hands-off approach to your earnings?

If you decide on an online broker, then you are responsible for buying and selling investments over time yourself. This option is more expensive than choosing an automated approach.

On the other hand, a robo-adviser may help you in managing your investments without much human input.

The robo-adviser will be in charge of your portfolio, and keep in mind your preferences and timeline as it selects low-cost funds and maximize your earning potential.

Choose the right provider

Next, look for a provider that fits your needs, which may depend on how you are approaching your investments.

For robo advisers, look for an affordable management fee and features that appease your needs. For example, portfolio allocation may help in determining how your investments can be best used.

If you are interested in seeking a professional, try pursuing those with little to no account fees and small amounts of commissions. Furthermore, you may want to prioritize brokers who can show you the ropes of opening a Roth IRA and can be easily reachable if you encounter any problems.

Open a Roth IRA

Depending on your provider, to open an account, visit their website and choose the type of IRA you want, which is either a Roth or traditional.

Then, input your details, including your Social Security number, and you should have your account up and ready to roll.

How to Use Your Roth IRA

Even after you have chosen your provider and officially set up your Roth IRA, there are a few additional factors you may consider when getting the most out of your retirement account.

Carefully Consider Investments

When choosing your investments, think about your prior investing experience, risk tolerance, and the advice from your provider, if you have not chosen a robo-adviser.

What you can invest in varies, but examples include:

  • Stocks: Investing in a stock means you purchase part of the company, which can generate larger returns than bonds but can be risky if the company goes under.
  • Mutual funds: This is a basket of stocks and bundles bought as a bundle, enabling you to vary your portfolio without spending too much money on individual stocks or bonds.
  • Money market accounts: Another type of saving account, money market accounts can provide a higher than average rate of interest but limits your monthly withdrawals, which may be a good fit for a Roth IRA if you intend to wait until retirement to draw out money.

Put in Earnings Daily

You can add to your IRA until the April 15 tax deadline, but you can regularly deposit money either by putting in a lump sum at the year’s beginning or making a monthly deposit.

Be Aware of Your Tax Bracket

Since a Roth IRA does not reduce any taxable income, you may move up to a higher tax bracket.

To avoid this, you can move money into a tax-deferred account, which can help you stay in a lower tax bracket and pay smaller percentages in taxes for your savings in a Roth account.

The Choice is Yours

A Roth IRA account can help you conserve and increase your earnings for your retirement.

But, it is your decision to choose either a Roth or traditional IRA account. So, consult with trusted advisers or loved ones and make decisions that will help you reach your financial goals.


Marie MiguelAuthor Bio: Marie Miguel has been a writing and research expert for nearly a decade, covering a variety of health-related topics. Currently, she is contributing to the expansion and growth of a free online mental health resource with BetterHelp.com. With an interest and dedication to addressing stigmas associated with mental health, she continues to specifically target subjects related to anxiety and depression.

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