Retirement is the most dreaded stage of life for many people. This is because when you retire, you will no longer be working, but you will still have living expenses and obligations to take care of. However, those who manage to save aggressively for retirement usually have it easier.

Commonly known as IRAs, individual retirement accounts are among the best tools to help you realize your retirement goals. They help you save for retirement to secure your financial future. They work best when combined with other retirement plans like the 401(k) to diversify your savings. Here are some things you should know about IRA contributions.

1. Maximum Contribution

As per the regulations set by the Internal Revenue Service, there is a limit to the amount you can contribute each year into your individual retirement account. IRA contribution limits vary depending on factors such as your age and the type of IRA account. In 2020, for instance, you are allowed to contribute not more than $6,000 annually if you are younger than 50 years old. For those aged 50 or older, you can contribute as much as $7,000 yearly in a Roth or traditional IRA. Your contributions must also come from income that you have earned but you can also contribute from your spouse’s earnings for those legally married and file jointly.

2. Age Is Not a Factor

Saving for your retirement can start as early as when you land your first job. IRAs are flexible enough to handle your retirement savings according to your income level. And if you feel the need to start saving, but you do not know how to go about it, a financial coach can walk you through that journey. It also favors the teenagers who decide to start saving at a younger age. In that, if they earn more than they can spend, it allows them a long term tax-deferred savings plan.

3. There are Limited Investments

The limitations vary from one IRA to another. While others may not accept gold and silver coins, some will receive them with open arms. While some will allow their investors to have their individual stocks in their IRAs, other financial institutions will have restrictions on such assets. It is important to know the pros and cons of investing in a particular financial institution. Always settle for a choice within your financial capabilities.

4. IRA Accounts Can Be Managed

It is important to keep your financial state a secret at times, but that is not the case when it comes to IRAs. With written authorization, your financial advisor can run your IRA on your behalf. You will need to pay them as per your agreement. If you are seeking to save money alone in this field of investment, ask the experts. The “penny-wise and pound-foolish” syndrome is a common disease in the financial streets, and it needs professional attention.

Old man reading book about IRA contributions on a bench

5. IRA Contributions Can Be Transferred and Rolled Over

Change is inevitable, and sometimes, we feel the need to create a few transitions in our lives. It is nothing different from our financial health. Moving from one financial institution to another is a common thing. In IRA, if you choose to keep the account but change the company, you can move the assets as a transfer or a rollover.

When transferring, the assets are limitlessly delivered from one financial institution to another. In the case of funds, terms and conditions may differ from the numbers of transactions to the amount to be paid annually. This is among the things you should be aware of to avoid future wrangles when it comes to your calculations.

6. Tax Rules and Tax-Deductible Losses

Tax deductions are a stronghold when it comes to saving for retirement. Taxes can be deferred on gains and investments. To make it clearer, you cannot use losses to offset gains. In fact, if you evenly distribute your total balance from your IRA and the sum is less than your basis, you can deduct the loss.

With some caveats, the IRS lets you deduct losses. For instance, if you have withdrawn all your money and realize a loss after miscellaneous deductions, you can only deduct the amount that exceeds 2% of your AGI.

It is also important to note that tax rules vary for different types of IRAs. In traditional IRA, for instance, contributions are made with pre-tax funds. Your withdrawals will, however, be taxed. If you have a Roth IRA, on the other hand, contributions are made using post-tax funds, meaning that your withdrawals will not be taxed.