After eliminating debt, many people look to provide for themselves by saving enough money to cover their needs. In order to help people save for major life events, the federal government does not collect taxes on several different types of savings accounts.
All money deposited into a traditional IRA is not taxed. These accounts can be ideal for anyone who needs to roll over or transfer a 401(k) account or other type of retirement savings. While all of the money that is invested in these accounts will grow tax-free, all withdraws from the account that occur after a person turns 59 ½ are taxable at a person’s regular income tax rates. Because all deposits are tax free and any gains in the account are tax-free, traditional IRAs are recommended to people who have a reason to believe that their tax bill will be less during their retirement than it is right now.
Roth IRAs, on the other hand, have annual limits of $5,000 and all contributions are taxable. Any money that is deposited into these accounts, however, can grow tax-free. In addition, investors are allowed to withdraw their original contributions whenever they want, for any reason, and not have to pay tax penalties.
Any amount of money can be withdrawn from a Roth IRA as soon as the investor turns 59 ½. After the investor reaches this age, all withdraws are tax free. In addition to being a retirement account, a Roth IRA can also be used to pay for college expenses. Money can also be withdrawn one time without penalty in order to make a down payment on a first-time home purchase.
Besides retirement accounts, there are also tax deferred accounts that can be used to save for higher education. A 529 account is a unique type of savings account that is meant to save for college expenses. According to federal law, all money that is put into one of these accounts can grow tax-free.
The funds saved in these accounts can only be spent on certain specific educational expenses, however. In order for an investor to not have to pay penalties on the money that they invest, the funds from one of these accounts are only allowed to be spent on a nationally accredited university or a vocational training program.
Saving money in a tax-free or tax-deferred account is a great way to save for major life events. By being able to save without paying taxes, savings can grow at a much faster rate. This can make the difference between being able to meet an investor’s savings goals or missing them completely.