Retirement Accounts

In 2002, I began my banking career in earnest. I had worked as a bookkeeper for years during college and as a head cashier during high school, but I was honestly unprepared for the finance world. I didn’t know what a 401(k) was. I didn’t know what a mortgage entailed. I didn’t know a lick about the stock market. I was a blank slate, ready to learn everything about the finance world.

I know a couple who are extremely close to their retirement. David and Marsha are 52 and 56, respectively. Out of curiosity, I asked them if they wouldn’t mind sharing with me how they planned for their retirement. I nearly spit out my tea when I heard their responses.

One of the things we really want to stress here at MomVesting is to make sure you're taking advantage of your tax-advantaged retirement plan options. If you're not, you're literally throwing money away. Let's take a look at the difference between using an IRA for your retirement savings and not using one.

Running the Numbers

Recently, my husband switched jobs, and in an effort to create financial balance among his multiple retirement accounts, he attempted to roll his two outstanding accounts into his newest job's 401(k).  Both of the original accounts were denied rollover, so we had to investigate the 401(k) rules to determine our best strategy.  Let's look at what I found.

What's a Rollover?

Ah, the wonderful world of Individual Retirement Accounts (or IRAs in money-speak).  So riveting. So in demand.  Why, I'll bet that you were just saying to yourself: "I simply have to have more info on these IRAs!" Well, my friend, today is your lucky day.  We are going to plunder the depths of not only a traditional IRA, but also its cousin, the Roth IRA, and will bring to light all the differences they thought they could keep buried. Here we go!

"Aren't you being a tad melodramatic," you might say. "I mean, we are talking about just accounts, here."

All of us would like to have a feeling of security and control over our finances. So, what’s keeping us from getting there? The idea that you have to make a lot to save a lot is a myth. Whether you make $15,000 or $1.5 million, you can save and invest for your future. Just as with any great journey, sometimes the only thing holding you back is getting started. And my guess is you're already investing more than you think!

Melinda takes a look at the different kinds of retirement accounts and the differences between them. Whether it's a 401(k), a Roth IRA, or one of the many other retirement accounts, there's probably an option that applies to your situation. Generally speaking they all have significant tax advantages over regular investments, so let's dig in and see which ones make sense for you.