A traditional IRA, or Individual Retirement Account, can be established by most individuals below age 70 1/2 who have earned income, and they can contribute in 2005 up to a $4000 "IRA contribution limit" if the earned income is at least equal to the amount contributed.
Starting in 2002, catch up contribution provision available for individuals over 50 years of age. For 2005, those over age 50 can contribute up to a $4500 "IRA contribution limit".
All, some or none of the contribution may be tax deductible. 3 factors affect deductibility: income level, tax filing status and whether or not you are covered by a retirement plan at work.
Starting in 2002, eligible taxpayers with Adjusted Gross Income below certain thresholds will qualify for a tax credit on contributions into an Individual Retirement Account.
A deductible Individual Retirement Account cannot be established by an individual who participates in certain company, agency or not for profit retirement plans: SEP IRA, Simple IRA, 401k Plan, 403b Plan, etc., unless their income is below certain thresholds.
An IRA contribution can be made for any year in which you have earned income until you reach the age of 70 ½.
If income eligible, an Individual Retirement Account can be partially or fully converted to a Roth IRA.
An Individual Retirement Account can be funded with stocks, bonds, bank cds, mutual funds, noload mutual funds, variable annuities, noload variable annuities and various other investments, including investment real estate.
Loans are not permitted from an Individual Retirement Account.
Dividends, interest and capital gain growth within an Individual Retirement Account are not taxable and monies eventually removed are taxable. Withdrawals prior to age 59 1/2 may be subject to taxes and a 10% IRS penalty.
Avoidance of 10% IRS penalty (but not taxes) on withdrawals prior to age 59 1/2 is available if owner takes substantially equal periodic payments over his/her life expectancy based on IRS life expectancy tables.
An IRA distribution or withdrawal is required starting April 15 of the year after the owner turns 70 1/2.
An Individual Retirement Account can be moved from one custodian to another without tax penalties, but sales charges may apply.
Starting in 2002, an Individual Retirement Account can be rolled into a qualified plan, 401k plan, 403b plan, etc.
One can take a lifetime maximum IRA distribution of $10,000 (contributions and earnings) without tax penalties for a first time home purchase.
Employees leaving an employer, in many cases, can rollover their vested interest in their ex-employers sponsored plan into their own personal Individual Retirement Account, i.e., an IRA rollover.
Withdrawals from a traditional IRA can be made for higher educational expense without penalty.
Numerous different and various types of investment choices are available for funding a traditional Individual Retirement Account.
All Mutual Funds, Variable Annuities and Variable Life Insurance policies are offered by prospectus ONLY. For complete information including charges and expenses obtain a prospectus, and read it carefully before you invest.
Mutual Fund, Variable Annuity and Variable Life prospectuses are available directly from the issuing companies when product information is requested, and in some cases, they can be downloaded directly on the issuing company's internet website.
The tax deferral characteristic associated with variable annuities is not needed when used in an account that is by definition tax deferred (retirement accounts) and according to some sources variable annuities generally have higher fees and internal expenses than mutual funds.
Systematic and dollar cost averaging within Mutual Funds, Variable Annuities and Variable Life insurance policies does not assure a profit and does not protect against loss in declining markets. It involves continuous investment in securities regardless of fluctuating prices and the investor should consider his or her financial ability to continue purchases through periods of low price levels.
Investing in stocks, bonds, mutual funds and variable annuities does not guarantee a profit. All of these investments can lose money.
Stocks, bonds, mutual funds and variable annuities are not FDIC insured.