IRA 101: The Basics on Individual Retirement Accounts and Their Benefits

IRA 101: The Basics on Individual Retirement Accounts and Their Benefits

  • IRA accounts, also called individual retirement accounts, are great ways to save money.
  • There are multiple forms of an IRA including a Roth IRA, traditional IRA, and more.
  • The type of account you have can depend on your employer or your job.
  • It is always worth it to invest and diversity your assets to prepare for retirement.

When it comes to your retirement, people are constantly sharing knowledge and warning people to prepare far in advance for the last stages of their life. Individual retirement accounts, also called IRAs, are significant decisions for those who want to save and begin preparing for their futures.

Most people gain access to these accounts when they begin their careers, as many positions offer this as part of their benefits package. However, you can start this at any time in your life, but the earlier you create one, the better your chance of saving more money over time. The longer you have your IRA, the more money you can enjoy come retirement!

This article will examine the basics of IRA accounts, the available options, and why it is beneficial for individuals to use this during their careers. By the end of this information, even the newest student of finance will be able to understand the benefit of an IRA account and why they should get one, regardless of what type they choose.

What is an IRA?

An IRA is also called an individual retirement account. This account allows for savings that will enable people to receive significant tax breaks as they helped us talk away cash for retirement. Typically, these are given out with positions and often on a company-wide basis. But they are also available for self-employed individuals.

What is an IRA Contribution?

For those unaware, this is typically seen as how much is contributed to your account every month and year. But, of course, this depends on the industry, the employee decisions, and even the cap they put per position.

The contributions to your IRA could vary greatly depending on the account type, the employer specifications, and other position-related considerations. For best details, it is best to contact an employer or ask the provider for more details about the IRA you are interested in.

What is IRA Distribution?

This is typically seen as the amount of money someone withdraws from an IRA, typically penalized with every withdrawal. Every withdrawal comes with an unfortunate 10% penalty and a tax bill if they choose to take the money out before they reach the age of 59.5 years. This is typically the norm unless you qualify for exceptions, which only happen with certain situations.

Typically, an IRA has a regular distribution that allows individuals to withdraw before age 70. However, there are also special distribution rules for beneficiaries of this retirement program. These all depend on the employee program, the company running this retirement account, and the other specifics unique to the situation.

Types of IRAs Available for Investments

There are many IRA accounts available, and all of them have their distinct differences. Here are the top accounts that are available and what their differences are from each other. This will help you decide what you’d like to do with your retirement funds!

Traditional IRA

The traditional investment retirement account typically allows for tax-deductible contributions that are given every single year. These generally are the ones that are given out and the most common that are seen come tax season when people can deduct the amount of money, they put into their retirement accounts.

Roth IRA

A Roth IRA has no deductions or qualified tax-free distributions. Additionally, there are no withdrawals until after the owner’s death, making it a distinctly different form of investment retirement account. This is often one that people use to supplement their various other IRA or savings accounts.


The SIMPLE IRA is a distinctly different format from the traditional and Roth IRA options, as this allows for a savings incentive match by employers towards their employees. This is a distinctly different format and one that offers different amounts of money that can be saved. It is a great way for people to save more without dipping into their paycheck.

Simplified Employee Pension (SEP-IRA)

A simplified employee pension, also called SEP-IRA, typically allows for individual employer and employee retirement contributions. This is given by the executive of a company towards an employee and their account. This is distinctly different but creates a simplified version of a pension dependent upon the management team’s contributions.

Rollover IRA

A rollover IRA typically involves payment from a retirement plan that is then repositioned into a new IRA within 60 days of closing the original. This is distinctly different and only visible during career changes or job changes. However, it can still be a distinct form of IRA that allows people to manage their money and still be able to save money for retirement.

How Much Can I Put into My Retirement Account?

For most retirement accounts, the cap is $6,000 per year, seen in 2021 and 2022 across the market. Individuals have to be over 50 to contribute an additional $1,000 maximum per year to contribute more to their eventual retirement funds.

This is where people often see the benefit of a long-term investment in an IRA account because it allows people to have long-term investment money available. After all, this is not a short-term investment. This is for a long-term contingency plan.

Is an IRA Worth It?

Despite what people might think, this is a great way to save money, and it allows for a significant amount of investment to be put forth for retirement. Most people, even self-employed and business owners, create their form of retirement account for the time when they decide to retire. For most of these account types, self-employed individuals can also take part and prepare for their later years.

There are many ways to go about retirement accounts, and they don’t have to be just in the form of a traditional IRA or Roth IRA. Some of the best retirement accounts can allow you to contribute what you wish and save at your own pace. In the end, an IRA is worth it, but you should always research and decide for yourself what you feel is best for you!

Start Saving for Retirement Today

With all these options for individual retirement accounts, there is no excuse not to prepare for your future today. Hopefully, this article helped you further understand the difference between these retirement accounts and your options, as well as allows you to see the benefit of starting your savings account today to begin retirement and how this can benefit your future beyond your career today.

For all things finance and for more ways to diversify your money, check out our blog to educate yourself and prepare for your financial future!