Retirement planning

Avoid these five IRA mistakes: Morningstar

Contact a financial advisor or look up how to create an IRA if you haven’t already.

Your money can grow tax-free with individual retirement accounts, or IRAs, which can contribute significantly to your retirement assets.

You might already have an IRA set up for yourself. If not, speak with a financial counselor or conduct your own research to learn how to get started.

In a paper titled “20 IRA Mistakes to Avoid,” Christine Benz, director of personal finance at Morningstar, lists 20 pitfalls to stay clear of. These are the first five.

  1. “I always think Roth donations are ideal.” Investors may believe that contributing to a Roth IRA rather than a standard IRA is always the best course of action since they have heard so much about the benefits of tax-free compounding and withdrawals from Roth IRAs, according to Benz. However, “it’s not.” Your contributions to a Roth IRA are taxed in advance. After you withdraw funds from a typical IRA, they are subject to taxation. It’s not from Benz, but a general rule of thumb is that you should open a traditional IRA if you anticipate paying less income tax in retirement than you do today. Additionally, you desire a Roth IRA if you believe your tax rate will be higher in retirement.
  2. Considering the differences between a standard IRA and a Roth IRA “as a choice between two options. “It’s okay to divide the difference” if you don’t know what your tax bracket would be in retirement, according to Benz. “Invest half of your contribution in a Roth and the other half in a standard IRA.”
  3. “Not making further contributions” to an IRA. According to Benz, “many Americans are working longer hours than they used to.” “Investors who don’t anticipate needing the money in their own retirements but instead intend to pass it on to their heirs may find it particularly enticing to make Roth IRA contributions later in life.” This is due to the fact that the heirs will be able to receive money from such assets tax-free. In addition, she added, Roth IRAs are better than standard IRAs since they don’t require required minimum distributions.
  4. “Delaying donations due to immediate concerns.” Investors, particularly those who are younger, may postpone making IRA contributions because they believe they will be keeping their money in an account until retirement, according to Benz. But it’s not always the case. Roth IRA contributions are particularly liquid and may be withdrawn whenever necessary without being subject to taxes or penalties, according to Benz. And under extremely certain conditions, investors may remove the investment earnings portion of their IRA without paying taxes or penalties.
  5. “Imagining an IRA as crazy money.” Some investors view the IRA funds as an opportunity to “suited for investing in specialized products like exchange-traded funds that concentrate on cryptocurrencies or electric automobiles, according to Benz. Don’t get caught up in that trap. According to Benz, the best investing assets are diversified stock, bond, and balanced funds.

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