Everyone wanting to save toward retirement must start a Roth IRA. A Roth IRA is an individual retirement account that qualifies for tax benefits, while at the same time ensuring that you are setting aside money for your golden years. A Roth IRA contribution is taxed now, not when you collect your savings. This means that you pay the taxes now, when you are able to as an earning member. Also, you will pay taxes on the amount you invest, and not on the returns you get. This will save you a lot in taxes in your retirement years.

Getting Started

To start a Roth IRA, you first need to find out if you are eligible. This is because the limits for the Roth IRA vary from year to year. After you find out that you qualify, the next step is to find out how much you can contribute to the Roth IRA. Again, this is a figure that varies from year to year.

Choose Service Provider

You need to choose your service provider. You can choose from among Fidelity, T. Rowe Price, and Vanguard. All three have excellent reputations. While Fidelity and Vanguard offer a no fee service they have a higher minimum initial contribution, T. Rowe Price charges a fee, but has a lower initial contribution requirement.

Roth IRA Contribution

The next step is to decide whether you will contribute monthly or annually to your Roth IRA. Both options have their pro and cons. Either way be prepared financially to meet your commitments.

Considerations for Opening an Account

To open the actual account, you will need to visit the chosen provider and fill the necessary forms. They are quite simple to fill in. You will need your social security number as well. You also need to choose beneficiaries for your Roth IRA. The first beneficiary is usually your spouse; however, choose a second beneficiary as well.

You can also consider converting your regular IRA into a Roth IRA. With a Roth IRA you can choose the time frame and your investing style to suit your needs. If you have a longer time frame in mind, then an aggressive, risk taking fund could suit you. You will have time to make up any losses that you incur and your profits are all yours. If on the other hand you have a lot of risky assets in your portfolio, use your Roth IRA to give your portfolio some stability. Choose a fund that is less risky and gives you assured, but perhaps lower returns. The choice is yours and you need to make up your mind before you fill in the Roth IRA form.

Apart from the companies mentioned above, most banks and mutual funds offer a Roth IRA account. Banks offer less investment options when compared to mutual funds, but might be safer in the long term. So do your homework diligently to ensure that you provide a good service provider that will keep your principal secure even as it invests it to get you good tax free returns.

The three areas that you need to concentrate on are finding a trustworthy service provider, determining your risk profile and appetite for risk, and whether you are going to make monthly or annual contributions.

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