What Is An Individual Retirement Account & Why Get It?

Published on: March 15, 2024

Last Updated on: April 27, 2024

Individual Retirement Account

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Have you started thinking about saving for your retirement and thus spending the golden years in complete financial comfort?

Well, you’re not alone. Everyone thinks about this from the moment they begin working. Also everyone does what they can in order to save enough money and build a good investment portfolio.  It will keep them financially safe and secure. No doubt that you have the same goal.

Starting Late?

Sure, it is always better to start earlier when it comes to saving for retirement so as to be able to save the amount you need more easily, as talked about by this useful source, but here is the thing.

Are you worried that you may be starting too late?  Because I am sure you still have the time you need to make the right investments and save up. So, in short, starting earlier is better. Savings ideas must not discourage you if you still haven’t set up your savings account. 

Now, those traditional pension plans seem to have become quite less common in recent years.  Therefore, individuals are turning towards other types of accounts.  They can use in order to invest and save money for the years after they stop working.

Individual Retirement Account

Suppose you’ve been doing your own research. In that case, you understand already that the Individual Retirement Account. People know it by IRA. The IRA is one of those accounts that you can, and definitely should, consider with investment and retirement.

No doubt you’ve heard about that account type already. Someone may have recommended it as a great option. It has made you wonder whether you should grab that option or not.

Well, it is perfectly normal to listen to what other people have to say, especially those you trust. But the truth is that you certainly won’t make your final decision regarding the retirement account. You also want to do your own research and then make the final decision.

So, you’re ready to do your research, are you? And you have two questions on your mind here. First off, you want to know what an Individual Retirement Account really is and how it works.  It will also open up questions about the different types of accounts once you start digging for information.

And then, you are wondering why it is that getting it may be such a good idea. Those are, without a doubt, two highly important questions, and you are going to get your answers if you simply keep on reading.

This could be of help in getting your facts straight as well:

What Exactly Is An IRA?

What Exactly Is An IRA

So, an Individual Retirement Account is one of the means of saving for the golden years. Furthermore, it is a tax-advantaged way of saving money.

Basically, it provides you with tax-free investment growth. It also offers a range of other tax benefits that will certainly come to be quite useful.

The fact that you can pretty much grow money tax-free through this type of account makes it quite appealing. Discussion about saving for retirement The IRA provides extra compound growth compared to what you may see on a taxable account.

So as to encourage long-term savings, IRAs simply offer individuals greater control over their accounts. It also offers tax benefits I have talked about above.

Greater control means you have the final say in what goes in and out of your account. Moreover,  you certainly have numerous assets to choose from when trying to decide what to invest in. Some of which may even surprise you.

We will get to that later, though. For now, it is enough for you to know that these accounts provide people with greater control. There are  amazing tax advantages in their retirement savings processes. 

What Are The Types?

understand the IRAs

Now, in order for you to really understand the IRAs, you will need to learn about the different types of these accounts that actually exist today. There are a few of those to take into account, and we are going to discuss them further below.

That way, you will also get to understand which one could be best for you, in case you decide to actually set up one of these accounts and start investing in your retirement. So, let us begin checking them out in more detail.

Traditional IRA

We are, naturally, going to begin with the very basics here. First, we have the traditional IRA, the contributions to which are typically tax-deductible. What does that precisely mean, though? In short, it means they can reduce your taxable income for the specific year in which the contributions have been made.

To give you a more concrete answer, if you, say, put $3000 in this particular account this year, your taxable income will be reduced by that amount.

The investments in this particular account grow tax-deferred, which means that your earnings will compound over time, naturally, without being subject to the annual taxes. When you decide to withdraw from the account, the withdrawals will be taxed at the ordinary income tax for that year.

As you can see, there are quite a lot of individual retirement account benefits to consider, and the ones talked about here are all related to taxes. So, if you want to take advantage of those, make sure to set up this IRA as soon as possible.

Roth IRA

Contributions to the Roth IRA aren’t tax-deductible for the year in which you make them. Yet, the qualified withdrawals will be tax-free, which is also a huge advantage. Furthermore, it offers greater flexibility, as the contributions can be withdrawn at any point in time without penalties.

In addition to that, these accounts don’t have required minimum distributions, which provides you with greater control over the retirement income, as well as potential estate planning benefits.


Simplifies Employee Pension (SEP) IRAs are made for those self-employed individuals and for small business owners. Contributions are made by the employer and they are tax deductible as a business expense, which allows the employer to save on taxes as well. Offering higher contribution limits, this account is the perfect option for those people who have higher income levels.


Savings Incentive Match Plan for Employees (SIMPLE) IRAs are actually employer-sponsored retirement plans made for those businesses that have less than 100 employees.

In this case, the contributions are made both by the employer and by the employee, while, once again, the employer-made ones are tax-deductible as a business expense. The low administrative costs and the simpler compliance requirements make these more appealing than, say, 401ks, or other employer-sponsored retirement plans.


We can’t talk about IRAs today without mentioning the SDIRA as well. This is basically a self-directed IRA which is designed with the idea of allowing people to make some alternative investments as well.

If you remember me saying that some of the investment options may surprise you when it comes to these accounts, this is what I had in mind. Put simply, with an SDIRA, you can invest in gold, silver, and other precious metals, as well as in cryptocurrencies, and use the advantage and the stability of some of those assets to build a safer and better portfolio overall.

Why Should You Get It?

idea about what IRAs

Now that you’ve gotten a better idea about what IRAs are (additional info), you only have one more question on your mind. In a few words, you’re wondering why you should actually get it.

Well, if you’ve been reading carefully, then you already have some ideas about this, given that you’ve understood some of the benefits that come with setting up this particular solution when you want to save for retirement. Let me, nevertheless, make things clearer.

In addition to the flexible investment options, allowing you to invest in bonds, stocks, ETFs, and more, you will definitely love the tax benefits you’ll get from setting up an IRA for yourself. Furthermore, they offer greater control over your retirement savings, as you can choose the investments, adjust the contributions, and make withdrawals more easily.

And, on top of all that, there is a specific IRA that allows you to invest in gold and other alternative assets, aiming at diversifying your portfolio and making it more stable, which is also a huge benefit and one of the reasons why you should think about choosing this account when you decide to start saving for retirement.

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Mony Shah

With an adept skill of curating content on multiple genres, Mony has harnessed success as a Content Writer quickly. Find her sharing profound thoughts and opinions on business, finance and tech niches.

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