With modern technology and medicine, people are living longer than ever before. That sounds great, but it also means longer periods of retirement, during which you must pay for housing, food and more. It is important to start saving for retirement at an early age. Opening a retirement plan is a great way to invest in your future.
There are six main types of retirement plans.
Individual retirement account (IRA): This type of account allows you to contribute money, which is invested tax-deferred. Your gains can grow quicker since they are not taxed until you withdraw funds at retirement.
Roth IRA: This plan differs from a regular IRA in one main way… contributions are made after tax. This means that funds within a Roth IRA are not taxed again. You can withdraw your funds before retirement without penalties.
401(k): This is an employer-sponsored retirement plan to which you can contribute a pre-tax portion of each paycheck. Contributing to a 401(k) lowers the amount of income you pay taxes on. Additionally, many employers offer matching programs as an employee benefit.
Roth 401(k): This plan combines features of Roth IRA and 401(k). It is offered through employers, but contributions come from your after-tax salary. Like a Roth IRA, funds in the account are not taxed again.
Simple IRA: This plan is like a 401(k) and is often offered by small businesses. Contributions come from pre-tax paychecks and money grows tax-deferred until retirement.
SEP IRA: This plan works well for self-employed individuals, who can contribute part of their paychecks. Contributions can be deducted from income taxes. Plus, annual contribution limits are higher than many other retirement plans.