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What is the difference between a 401k and Roth IRA?

Choosing the right retirement savings account is crucial. Here are some key differences between Roth IRAs and 401(k)s:

Tax Treatment: 
●      Roth IRA: Contributions are made with after-tax dollars, meaning you pay taxes upfront. However, qualified withdrawals in retirement are tax-free.

●      401(k): Contributions are made with pre-tax dollars, reducing your taxable income and lowering your current tax bill. Withdrawals in retirement are taxed as ordinary income.

Contribution Limits:
●      Roth IRA: The annual contribution limit for 2024 is $6,500 ($7,500 if age 50 or older).

●      401(k): The annual contribution limit for 2024 is $22,500 ($30,000 if age 50 or older).

Employer Involvement:
●      Roth IRA: This is an individual account opened through a financial institution. You are responsible for choosing investments and managing the account.

●      401(k): This is a workplace retirement plan offered by many employers. They may offer matching contributions, which essentially translates to free money to boost your retirement savings.

Additional Considerations:
●      Roth IRAs: There are income limitations for full contribution eligibility.

●      401(k)s: Investment options are limited to those chosen by your employer's plan.

●      Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs): You must begin taking withdrawals from your 401(k) at age 73, even if you haven't retired. Roth IRAs generally have no RMDs.

Choosing the Right Option:
●      Tax Bracket: If you're in a lower tax bracket now and expect to be in a higher tax bracket in retirement, a Roth IRA might be preferable. You'll pay taxes now at a potentially lower rate and enjoy tax-free withdrawals later.

●      Employer Match: Don't miss out on free money from your employer's 401(k) match. Consider contributing enough to maximize the match, then explore a Roth IRA for additional savings.

We Can Help:
Understanding your financial situation and retirement goals is essential. Our financial advisors can help you navigate these options, considering your tax bracket, risk tolerance, and long-term objectives, to develop a personalized retirement savings strategy. Contact us today.