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San Antonio Offices:
18756 Stone Oak Pkwy, Ste 200
San Antonio, TX 78258
Phone: 210.998.5608
Fax: 210.855.3252

17803 La Cantera Terrace, Suite 7101 
San Antonio, TX  78256
Phone: 210.686.9000
Fax: 210.855.3252

Austin Offices:
1250 Capital of Texas Hwy S.
Building 3, Suite 400
Austin, TX 78746
Phone: 512.329.1940
Fax: 888.600.7671

9442 North Capital of Texas Hwy
Plaza One, Ste 500
Austin, TX 78759
Phone: 210.240.1689    
Fax: 888.600.7671 
 
Fair Oaks Ranch Office:
8000 Fair Oaks Pkwy, Suite 104
Fair Oaks Ranch, TX 78015
Phone: 210.530.1270
Fax: 888.600.7671

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What Is a Traditional IRA?

Traditional individual retirement accounts (IRAs) can be a good way to save for retirement. If you do not participate in an employer-sponsored retirement plan or would like to supplement that plan, a traditional IRA could work for you.

A traditional IRA is simply a tax-deferred savings account that has several investing options and is set up through an investment institution. For instance, an IRA can include stocks, bonds, mutual funds, cash equivalents, real estate, and other investment vehicles.

One of the benefits of a traditional IRA is the potential for tax-deductible contributions. You may be eligible to make a tax-deductible contribution of up to $6,000 ($7,000 if you are 50 or older) in 2019 (up from $5,500 in 2018). Contribution limits are indexed annually for inflation.

You can contribute directly to a traditional IRA or you can transfer assets directly from another type of qualified plan, such as a SEP or a SIMPLE IRA. Rollovers may also be made from a qualified employer-sponsored plan, such as a 401(k) or 403(b), after you change jobs or retire. (Make sure you understand the pros and cons of rolling funds from an employer plan to an IRA, including leaving the funds in your employer plan if the plan allows it, before you take any action.)

Not everyone contributing to a traditional IRA is eligible for a tax deduction. If you are an active participant in a qualified workplace retirement plan — such as a 401(k) or a simplified employee pension plan — your IRA deduction may be reduced or eliminated, based on your income.

In 2019, for example, if your modified adjusted gross income (AGI) is $64,000 or less as a single filer ($103,000 or less for married couples filing jointly), you can receive the full tax deduction. On the other hand, if your AGI is more than $74,000 as a single filer ($123,000 for married couples filing jointly), you are not eligible for a tax deduction. Partial deductions are allowed for single filers whose incomes are between $64,000 and $74,000 (or between $103,000 and $123,000 for married couples filing jointly). If you are not an active participant in an employer-sponsored retirement plan, you are eligible for a full tax deduction.

Nondeductible contributions may necessitate some very complicated paperwork when you begin withdrawals from your account. If your contributions are not tax deductible, you may be better served by another retirement plan, such as a Roth IRA. (The maximum combined annual contribution an individual can make to traditional and Roth IRAs is $6,000 in 2019, up from $5,500 in 2018.)

The funds in a traditional IRA accumulate tax deferred, which means you do not have to pay taxes until you start receiving distributions in retirement, a time when you might be in a lower tax bracket. Withdrawals are taxed as ordinary income. Withdrawals taken prior to age 59½ may also be subject to a 10% federal income tax penalty. Exceptions to this early-withdrawal penalty include distributions resulting from disability, unemployment, and qualified first-time home expenses ($10,000 lifetime limit), as well as distributions used to pay higher-education expenses.

You must begin taking annual required minimum distributions (RMDs) from a traditional IRA after you turn 70½ (starting no later than April 1 of the year after the year you reach 70½), or you will be subject to a 50% income tax penalty on the amount that should have been withdrawn. Of course, you can always withdraw more than the required minimum amount or even withdraw the entire balance as a lump sum.

An IRA can be a valuable addition to your retirement and tax management efforts. By working with a financial professional, you can determine whether a traditional IRA would be appropriate for you.

 

The information in this newsletter is not intended as tax, legal, investment, or retirement advice or recommendations, and it may not be relied on for the ­purpose of ­avoiding any ­federal tax penalties. You are encouraged to seek advice from an independent professional ­advisor. The content is derived from sources believed to be accurate. Neither the information presented nor any opinion expressed constitutes a solicitation for the ­purchase or sale of any security. This material was written and prepared by Broadridge Advisor Solutions. © 2019 Broadridge Investor Communication Solutions, Inc.

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