What is a Traditional IRA?

A Traditional IRA is a vehicle that allows you to grow savings into a retirement plan. With this set-up, you are able to invest either pre-tax or after-tax dollars that allows you to enjoy the tax benefits right away assuming your contributions are tax-deductible.  With this account, your investment will mature tax deferred, however be advised that you should know that you will be taxed at regular income tax levels on any withdrawals you make.  You will begin taking distributions after the age of 70.5.


This differs from a Roth IRA in the sense that there aren’t any limitations on your income to open the account.  A Traditional IRA is a solid choice for people who expect to be in the same income bracket as they age (or be in a lower bracket.)

The Traditional IRA Explained

A traditional IRA is a simple retirement plan that shields you from taxes. The idea behind the IRA is that you are contributing money that is not taxed, you are not taxed on your present balance, and you are only charged when you choose to remove funds from the account. Some people call this a tax shelter because you are never asked to pay taxes until you are drawing money for your retirement. At that time, you are paying taxes on your only income. Read more below about how the traditional IRA can change your life. You are asking yourself, “how does a traditional IRA work,” and you will find all the information you need below.

1. How Do You Start A Traditional IRA?

You can start a traditional IRA with help from your employer or a broker. There are several companies today that will start the IRA for you. We understand how the IRA works, and we are here to help you manage the IRA after you have begun saving. The employer that sets up an IRA for you will begin to match your contributions in most cases. You should ask the employer for documents that show the IRA belongs to you. These document will be used when you plan to transfer or begin withdrawing from the account. Moreover, we can use this information to help you when you would like to change the amount of money you will contribute every month.

You should ask your current employer if they have a traditional IRA that you could buy into. You are free to transfer your money to that account if you have value in another policy. You might choose to start a brand new plan because you want to have a fresh start, and you should speak to one of our advisors about using the proper paperwork for transfers. You are saving for your future, and you must go into an account that will begin to invest your money as soon as you begin. You can change your life if you have saved for retirement, but you should not invest with just any IRA. You need to find one that will give you quality results.

2. How Does A Traditional IRA Work?

The traditional IRA allows you to deduct all contributions from your taxes. There are those who would like to deduct all their contributions because they need to get that money back in their final tax return. You will continue to invest in this account for as long as you like,

The traditional IRA will accept as much money as you would like to add. You could change the amount you are adding to the account can change at any time, and we will help you fill out the paperwork that is needed to change the contribution amount. You should make certain that you have changed to an amount that you believe will help you save the most money. If you are not certain about how much you should add to the account, you might want to have a talk with a financial advisor about that money.

The traditional IRA never requires you to pay fees or taxes because it is investing your money for a profit. You can see the increases in your investment income through your statement balances and you should call us if you ever have a question about how much money you have made or lost on the account. In fact, we can change your elections so that you will put a new amount of money into the account to catch a wave of growth or to make up for a loss.

3. How Much Money Can You Save?

You can save as much money as you want in this plan so long as you have continued your contributions. Your employer might match your contributions to help you with retirement, or you might choose to fold your dividend money back into the account. Some investors choose to take out their dividend, and they will be asked to pay taxes on that money alone.

The money that is saved in the account only changes with the markets. You will see a realtime balance on your account when you are checking, and you should be sure that you know how much is in the account so that you are not surprised by sudden changes in the market. If you want to make changes to your account to make up for current events, you could send over more money to the account if you would like.

You are free to remove money from the account at any time, and you will notice that you can make changes to the account to help grow your retirement funds because you have concerns about the future. You might also make changes to the way the account is managed if you are able to merge an old fund with a new one. Transfers are easy for us to handle, and we will complete all the proper paperwork for you.

4. When Do Taxes Apply?

Taxes apply to these accounts only when you have withdrawn money. The majority of people who take money out of these accounts will need to pay taxes on their yearly income. You will not make any more tax payments on this account because you are only removing money to live on. You will, of course, pay taxes on any amount that is removed up to and including the full amount. Some people choose to withdraw all their funds at once, and other people will make large withdrawals for major purchases. This is not free money. You must account for taxes at the time of the withdrawal.

Taxes should be written up carefully when you get to the end of the year because your tax return must show every contribution, that it was made to a qualifying plan, and that you have not removed any money from the account. You are not getting the benefits of the tax shelter unless you are leaving that money for retirement.

5. Transfers

Transfers from one IRA to another are very important because you might have established an account with another employer, but you do not work for that company anymore. If this is the case, you need to get a transfer that will help you save money on taxes because you are not technically withdrawing your money. You must fill out the proper forms for these transfers, and we will make certain that you are not charged the taxes on these amounts. It is very important that you handle this with care because you do not want to be charged tax just because you wanted to combine your plans.

6. Conclusion

You can use the traditional IRA to give yourself the best chance of saving money for the future. You can use these policies to get good results for your personal savings, and you can manage your retirement funds in a way that does not involve massive tax payments. Most people who are trying to save for the future also would like to save money on their taxes every year. You should use the IRA when you are trying to have a comfortable retirement that will only charge you taxes on money that was withdrawn for you to live after you have stopped working.

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Tim Schmidt


Tim Schmidt is an Entrepreneur who has covered retirement investing since 2012. He started this website to share his expertise in using his Self-Directed IRA for alternative investments. His views on retirement investing have been highlighted in USA Today, Business Insider, Tech Times, and more. He invested with Goldco.