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Using an IRA to Finance Retirement

Apr 24, 2008
There's a lot of talk these days about the stock market and how the ups and downs affect personal finance. Unfortunately, this may scare a lot of people from making investment plans or contributing to their current investment choices. The sad fact is that many individuals are reaching retirement age without enough money to support themselves throughout their golden years.

Do not let market fluctuations deter you from investing. Take some time to review your investment choices to make sure you're comfortable with the risk/benefit ratio. One great way to invest for retirement is an IRA, or an Individual Retirement Account.

Tax Advantages
An IRA, just like a 401K does provide current tax advantages. Any contributions up to a specific percentage of your income are not taxed the year you contribute. Taxation is deferred until you withdraw the money, which usually occurs when you are no longer working full time.

The advantage of deferred taxes shows up because most individuals are in a lower tax bracket during their retirement years.

Investment choices
Again just like a 401K plan, an IRA usually offers a lot of investment choices. These choices usually involve many different types of funds. Some funds could be riskier, but may offer a higher rate of return. Other funds will be safer and will probably offer a lower rate of return.

No matter which choice you start off with, you can always move your investments around to meet your current needs. As people grow older, their investments usually become safer. The amount of time needed to recover from a riskier investment just isn't there as one approaches retirement age. An IRA allows you an abundance of choices in your investments.

Protection from Creditors
In many states, an IRA is a protected asset. Even if you have to file bankruptcy, the state may not allow your creditors to withdraw funds from an IRA to meet your debts. This helps to ensure you are safer financially than if you just stick your money in a savings account or other asset.

Meeting Retirement Costs
The fact of the matter is that social security just doesn't cover basic costs. And if some news reports are to be believed, social security may be fully depleted sometime in the 2030s.

Unless you have plans to move in with your children and expect them to start giving you an allowance, you have to plan for your retirement. The rules of an IRA will usually let you withdraw the money as you need it or set up a periodic payment, so you can customize the use of your IRA to meet your lifestyle.

In conclusion, an IRA is a perfect way to ensure that you are financially cared for during your retirement years. By taking advantage of current tax breaks and creditor protection, you can even help yourself today.
About the Author
Caterina Christakos is an experienced investor and instructor with World Capital Institute. Concerned about your retirement and paying for a good assisted living facility? Check out this alternative payment option: http://worldcapitalbenefits.com
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