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What is a Roth IRA? Why do I need it?

I received a lot of questions about how to open an account that gains compound interest. One opportunity, and one that I use, is with a Roth IRA account.

A Roth IRA is a sensible method to boost your retirement funds. When you retire, these investment accounts will provide you with tax-free income. However, the return on a Roth IRA account is determined by the investments you make. Here's all you need to know about the average Roth IRA return and how it can help you get the most out of your retirement funds.

Side Note: DON’T GET THROWN OFF BY RETIREMENT!!! I know we are young, but bestie, we need to save NOW. This is an effective way to save for the rest of your life.

A Roth IRA is a type of individual retirement account to which you can contribute after-tax funds. Once the account holder has had the account for five years and is over the age of 59 and a half, they can take tax-free withdrawals. In this regard, Roth IRAs are the polar opposite of tax-deferred traditional IRAs or 401(k)s; when you remove money from those accounts, you must pay taxes.

The contribution limits for Roth IRAs in 2021 are the same as they were in 2020: you can contribute up to $6,000 per year (or $7,000 if you're over 50). Roth IRAs, however, have income constraints.

Your eligibility for a contribution is determined by your modified adjusted gross income (MAGI). As long as your MAGI is less than the lower limit, you can contribute up to the maximum, after which it will be phased out until you reach the upper limit. You won't be able to make any more donations if your income exceeds the limit.

If you're single, you can't earn more than $140,000 in 2021 to start a Roth IRA. The maximum increases to $208,000 for married couples filing jointly.

Before you open a Roth IRA, make sure you meet the eligibility requirements.

How Does a Roth IRA Make Money?

Roth IRAs, unlike ordinary savings accounts, do not earn interest on their own. A Roth IRA account begins as an empty investment basket, which means you won't earn any interest unless you choose investments to place within the account.

Compound interest is earned on Roth IRAs, which allows your money to grow faster. When your investments pay out a dividend or generate interest, the money is added to your account balance. After that, you get interest on interest, and so on. That implies your money will increase even if you don't contribute to the account on a regular basis.

How your money grows in a Roth IRA is influenced by a number of factors, including how well-diversified your portfolio is, when you want to retire, and how much risk you're prepared to take. Roth IRA accounts, on the other hand, have typically provided yearly returns of between 7% and 10%.

Assume you start a Roth IRA and make the maximum annual contribution. If the annual contribution limit for individuals under 50 continues at $6,000, you'll have $83,095 (assuming a 7% interest rate) after ten years. You would have amassed over $500,000.00 after 30 years.

On the other hand, if you put your money in a savings account that doesn't pay interest, after 10 years you'll only have $60,000 ($6,000 multiplied by ten). Use SmartAsset's free investing calculator to calculate the growth of your contributions.

How to Get the Most Out of Your IRA

Just because a Roth IRA can help you save for retirement doesn't mean they're all the same. The location in which you open an account can have a significant impact on the investments you can make, and consequently on your return. A traditional bank, for example, might only offer Roth IRAs as a certificate of deposit, which has a lower rate of return.

It may be advisable to start an IRA through a broker if you want the most investing alternatives. You can choose your investments with a broker depending on your financial goals as well as your risk tolerance. Stocks, bonds, index funds, and exchange-traded funds could all be included in these investments (ETFs).

Consider opening a Roth IRA account with a robo-advisor, which utilizes software to manage your assets online, if you prefer a more hands-off approach. Because no human advisors interact with your portfolio — it's all automated by computer algorithms that adjust for your age, timeline, and risk tolerance — these accounts normally have lower costs. In your Roth account, many robo-advisors will use index funds or ETFs as part of your investing mix.

Roth IRAs are a popular retirement account option for a reason: they're simple to set up with an online broker and have typically delivered yearly returns of between 7% and 10%. Compounding is used to its full potential in Roth IRAs, which means that even little contributions can grow dramatically over time. That's why it's crucial to start a Roth IRA as soon as possible – the more time your money has to grow, the better prepared you'll be for retirement.

As always, come to me with any questions you have!!

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