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Compare Traditional vs. Roth IRA

Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) are specially designed to help you save for retirement.

Summary

Traditional IRAs may be a good choice if you are eligible for the tax deduction now, your income is too high to be eligible for a Roth IRA, or you expect to be in a lower tax bracket in retirement.

Roth IRAs may be a good choice if you are at or below the Modified Adjusted Gross Income (MAGI) limits to make a contribution, if you are seeking tax-free withdrawals in retirement, want to avoid required minimum distributions beginning at age 70 1/2, or feel you will be in the same or a higher tax bracket in retirement.

To get started, choose your account or speak with a Wells Fargo retirement professional at 1-877-493-4727.

What's important to you:

Traditional IRA

          Roth IRA

Getting a tax deduction on your contribution (if certain conditions are met)
Yes
Deferring taxes on your potential investment earnings to help your savings grow for retirement
Yes
Yes

Having tax- and penalty-free access to your contributions before retirement
Yes
Making tax-free withdrawals during retirement (if certain conditions are met)
Yes
Avoiding Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs) after age 70 1/2
Yes
Contributing to an IRA in addition to your retirement plan at work, regardless of income
Yes
Consolidate before-tax retirement accounts without paying taxes
Yes
Consolidate after-tax retirement accounts without paying taxes
Yes

Traditional IRA

Our IRA Eligibility Calculator can help determine if you are eligible for a tax deduction.

Investment earnings

Investment earnings, or returns, are the amount of money you make on the assets you’ve invested, or the investment’s overall increase in value.

Contributions

Your contributions are the amount of money you add or deposit into your account each year.

Required Minimum Distributions

IRS regulations require that owners of retirement accounts including IRAs and qualified employer-sponsored retirement plans (QRPs) like 401(k)s must begin taking distributions annually from these accounts. These distributions are referred to as required minimum distributions or RMDs. Once you reach your required beginning date (RBD), generally April 1 following the year you turn age 70 1/2, you will begin taking RMDs from any Traditional, SEP, and SIMPLE IRAs that you have, as well as from any QRPs left at former employers. The RMD rules can be complex and penalties for not complying with the rules can be significant.

Qualified employer-sponsored retirement plans

Certain employers help their employees save for retirement by offering qualified employer-sponsored retirement plans (QRPs). Common types include 401(k), 403(b), and governmental 457 plans.