Securing A Sound Retirement Strategy
Planning for retirement is critical. Having a sound strategy in place can mean the difference between a comfortable retirement and a stressful one. Don’t have a lot of time? Retirement planning doesn’t have to be burdensome. We offer a range of products that make it easier for you to manage and make smarter decisions regarding your finances.
For many working adults, 401(k) plans are an easy place to start when it comes to retirement planning. For-profit employers typically offer these plans and employee contributions are withheld by payroll deduction. Participants under the age of 50 can save up to $18,000 of pretax income and those age 50 and older can save up to $24,000.
In addition, many employers offer an employee match for retirement contributions. Employees who leave their job have the option of rolling the account over into a new employers 401(k) or individual retirement account or IRA.
According to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), tax advantages of 401(k) plans include:
- Employer contributions are deductible on the employer’s federal income tax return to the extent that the contributions do not exceed the limitations described in section 404 of the Internal Revenue Code.
- Elective deferrals and investment gains are not currently taxed and enjoy tax deferral until distribution.
Similar to 401(k) retirement plans, 403(b) plans are offered by schools and some non-profit organizations. These plans are also referred to as tax-sheltered annuity (TSA) plans. Additionally, these plan operate like 401(k) plans in that employees make contributions to individual accounts and employers also can contribute to those accounts. Contributions are taxed upon distribution.
An IRA or individual retirement account is a tax-deferred retirement savings account. Taxes are paid when withdrawals are taken in retirement. Since taxes are deferred, an IRA can grow faster with compounded interest, dividends and capital gains. There are limits on what an individual can contribute annually. Individuals under age 50 can contribute $5,500 a year to an IRA, and those age 50 and older can contribute up to $6,500. There also are penalties for withdrawing money before retirement age. The mandatory withdrawal age is 70.
Most participants open IRAs independently – separate from employment related retirement accounts. However, eligibility restrictions apply and are based on income and employment status.
Also a retirement savings account, a Roth IRA is similar to a traditional IRA, except an individual’s contributions are made after taxes and an individual does not get any tax deduction for those contributions. Funds in Roth IRA accounts grows tax-free and, since the money contributed was already taxed, the account holder pays no tax on withdrawals after they reach age 50 ½.
Unlike traditional IRAs, there is no mandatory withdrawal age and participants can withdraw contributed funds without penalty or taxes at any time, though earnings must remain in the account until retirement. Individuals can contribute to Roth IRA accounts after age 70 ½ and funds can remain in the account for life.
To contribute to a Roth IRA, a single individual must earn less than $131,000 annually and a married individual, filing jointly, must earn less than $193,000. The allowed contribution is reduced for individuals with an income above $116,000 and for married individuals, filing jointly, if the income is above $183,000.
Contributions can be made to IRAs and Roth IRAs at the same time, but the limits apply to total contributions. If you exceed the amounts to contribute to a Roth IRA, you may be able to start with a traditional IRA and then roll over funds to a Roth IRA later.
For more details, contact our office.