Invest in Tax-Deferred and Tax-Free Accounts
Tax-deferred investments include company-sponsored retirement savings accounts such as traditional 401(k) and 403(b) plans, traditional individual retirement accounts (IRAs) and annuities. In some cases, contributions to these accounts may be made on a pretax basis or may be tax deductible. More important, investment earnings compound tax deferred until withdrawal, typically in retirement, when you may be in a lower tax bracket. Contributions to nonqualified annuities, Roth IRAs and Roth 401(k) savings plans are not deductible. Earnings that accumulate in Roth accounts can be withdrawn tax free if you have held the account for at least five years and meet the requirements for a qualified distribution. Unless certain criteria is met, Roth IRA owners must be 59 ½ or older and have held the IRA for 5 years before tax-free withdrawals are permitted.
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