Traditional individual retirement accounts (IRAs) can be a good way to save for retirement. If you do not participate in an employer-sponsored retirement plan or would like to supplement that plan, traditional IRAs could work for you.
A traditional IRA is simply a tax-deferred savings account that has several investing options and is set up through an investment institution. For instance, an IRA can include stocks, bonds, mutual funds, cash equivalents, real estate, and other investment vehicles.
One of the benefits of a traditional IRA is the potential for tax-deductible contributions. In 2014, you may be eligible to make a tax-deductible contribution of up to $5,500 ($6,500 if you are 50 or older). Contribution limits are indexed annually for inflation.
You can contribute directly to a traditional IRA or you can transfer assets directly from another type of qualified plan, such as a SEP or a SIMPLE IRA. Rollovers may also be made from a qualified employer-sponsored plan, such as a 401(k) or 403(b), after you change jobs or retire.
Not everyone contributing to a traditional IRA is eligible for a tax deduction. If you are an active participant in a qualified workplace retirement plan — such as a 401(k) or a simplified employee pension plan — the traditional IRAs deduction may be reduced or eliminated, based on your income.