The Four Types of Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs)

Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) are attracting unprecedented interest. As of the first quarter of 2023, the total assets held in IRAs soared to an impressive $12.5 trillion, marking a 4.3 percent increase from the previous quarter. This growth trajectory underscores the increasing significance of IRAs. 

If you’re considering joining the wave of astute investors capitalizing on the benefits of retirement savings accounts, you’ve come to the right place. We’ll help you to understand the basics. We will explain what they are, the meaning of IRAs and delve into the characteristics of each type of IRA account. 

In the end, you will be empowered with the knowledge to choose the right IRA that optimizes your retirement savings and maximizes tax advantages. 

Let’s begin.

Introduction to Individual Retirement Accounts

Your IRA planning must start by understanding the four available IRA types. Each of these types offers unique tax advantages and eligibility criteria, serving as a cornerstone of savvy financial planning. With the guidance of a seasoned financial planner in Oregon, you can traverse their landscapes and transform your retirement savings into a tax-efficient fortress.

The four types of IRA accounts available to individuals are:

  • Traditional IRA
  • Roth IRA

What sets them apart are the rules governing contributions, withdrawals, and tax implications.

Understanding the Different Types of IRAs

To help you distinguish clearly between these four types of retirement savings accounts, here’s a quick overview of their eligibility requirements, contribution limits, and tax implications.

Traditional IRAs

Tax-deductible contributions characterize the traditional IRA account. When one contributes, the amount is deducted from the taxable income shrinking their tax bill for the year. Traditional IRA advantages also include deferred taxation on the earnings on contributions until withdrawal. The Traditional IRA favors you if you expect to be in a low tax bracket upon retirement. 

Roth IRAs

In contrast to the Traditional, the Roth IRA advantages include tax-free withdrawals in retirement. After the probation period of 5 years, you can make withdrawals tax-free once they reach the age of 59 ½. Although the contributions made towards your Roth IRA are not tax deductible, the account is eligible for tax-free growth.


Simplified Employee Pension (SEP) IRA advantages are specific to self-employed individuals and small business owners. The key SEP benefits include high contribution limit and minimal administrative responsibilities as they do not require annual filings with the IRS, and no ongoing reporting requirements exist.

Such an account is attractive because of the potential tax advantages of more significant tax-deferred contributions. Additionally, contributions are not required yearly, making them suitable for people with fluctuating incomes.


Employer-sponsored SIMPLE IRA plans benefits stand out because of the potential for employers to match your contributions. Such accounts also have the highest contribution limits and tax-deferred growth. Other SIMPLE advantages include the option to roll over accounts into a new employer’s plan or an Individual Retirement Account when you switch employers.

How do Traditional and Roth IRAs work

Your retirement savings option can be a tax-efficient investment if you leverage the right one. Here’s what you need to know about how they work.

 How Roth IRA works 

You cannot make tax deductions for your contributions with a Roth IRA. However, the earnings on your contributions grow tax-free, and qualified distributions from the account are also tax-free. Here’s an overview of other additional concepts you need to know about the mechanisms and advantages of Roth IRAs:

Qualified distributions

For withdrawals to be tax-free, they must be qualified distributions meaning:

1. The distribution must occur at least five years after the first contribution to the Roth IRA.

2. The distribution must be made after the account holder reaches 59 ½, becomes disabled, or dies.

A distribution that does not meet these requirements may be subject to taxes and penalties.

Income limits

Your income must be below a certain threshold to qualify according to Roth IRA mechanics. Income limits are set annually for the following categories of people:

Single filers

For 2023, up to $140,000 in modified adjusted gross income (MAGI) can contribute the total amount, with a phase-out range of up to $155,000.

Married filing jointly

For 2023, up to $220,000 in MAGI can contribute the total amount, with a phase-out range of up to $270,000.

If your income is above these limits, you may not be able to contribute to a Roth IRA directly. However, your Oregon tax advisor can walk you through backdoor Roth contributions.

IRA Planning

In today’s world, it is vital to have a plan for your financial future, and IRA planning should play a key component in this plan.

If you’re getting close to retirement, get personalized advice from financial experts in Oregon to make the most of your financial investments.

Learn more

How do traditional IRAs work?

Understanding the associated rules and restrictions enables you to maximize your Traditional IRA perks and avoid penalties. The Traditional IRA workings can be summarized as follows:

Tax-deductible contributions 

Contributions can be tax deductible depending on your income, tax filing status, and whether a retirement plan at work covers you and your spouse. You can deduct your contribution amount up to the annual contribution limit if it doesn’t. Otherwise, deductions are reduced or eliminated based on your income.

Tax-deferred growth

You only have to pay tax on gains made from investments when withdrawing. This allows your investments to compound over time, potentially leading to more significant savings in retirement.

Mandatory minimum distributions (RMDs) in retirement

Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs) are compulsory once you turn 72. They are mandatory withdrawals each year calculated based on your age, life expectancy, and the balance in your account. 

Steps to start an IRA and Choosing the right IRA provider

Your choice of service provider must also align with your tax reduction strategy. Here’s what you need to know about opening an account that meets your needs.

Opening a Traditional IRA

Consider your eligibility before choosing where to open a traditional IRA. Opening an account requires that you have income from a job or be self-employed. Age doesn’t matter.

You can open your account with a bank, credit union, brokerage firm, or online investment platform. After applying and approval, the next step is funding your account. IRA finance can be done through direct contributions, rollovers from other retirement accounts, or transfers from other Traditional retirement savings accounts. Many providers offer a range of IRA investment options, including stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and exchange-traded funds (ETFs). 

 Opening a Roth IRA

To open a Roth IRA, you must earn income from a job or self-employment to be eligible. Additionally, income limits determine whether you can make a full contribution or a reduced contribution.

You can open your account with a bank, credit union, brokerage firm, or online investment platform. With the account set up, you can start contributing according to the applicable limits. The next step is to select suitable investments like stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and exchange-traded funds (ETFs). 

Contributions and Account Management

IRA accounting is essential to maintaining your retirement savings balance. Here’s what you need to know about managing finances:

Minimum Contributions for Roth IRA

One has to be eligible for full contributions, but they can make reduced ones outside of that. Several factors qualify an individual for minimum contribution for Roth IRA in 2023:


Roth IRA caps are set at $6,000. However, those above the age of 50 are eligible for$7,000.


The income limit for a full contribution is 140,000 for single filers. Married couples filing jointly have one for $208,000. Anyone earning above these amounts can make reduced contributions instead.

Tax-filing status

Married couples filing taxes jointly can contribute on behalf of each other if the other spouse has little or no earned income. However, your combined income must meet the eligibility requirements.

Retirement Planning

Successful retirement planning is not just about accumulating assets, it’s also about how to properly spend your assets. You need to minimize the guesswork involved in the most important retirement question: How am I doing?

Interactive’s retirement planning services guide you through the accumulation, preservation and efficient spending of your wealth.

Talk to advisor

Managing and Accounting

Monitoring your retirement account is crucial to ensure you are within your annual contribution limit. Any excess outside the set figures will incur penalties and unexpected tax implications. Do note your account is subject to tax reporting on contributions, withdrawals, and rollovers. 

Apart from IRA tax considerations, tracking your account is also important for monitoring the investment’s performance and reviewing beneficiary designation.


The benefits of IRA options are accessible to everyone. Low-income individuals will find more perks in the Traditional account. At the same time, those with high income may be more inclined towards Roth accounts because of the tax-free distributions during retirement. Employees and self-employed individuals can both enjoy the benefits of individual retirement accounts. The key to finding the right match is having clear retirement goals. 

Consult your Oregon wealth advisor at Interactive Wealth Advisors today for up-to-date information on which IRA suits your financial situation and future goals.


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Interactive Wealth Advisors is a Registered Investment Advisory firm in the State of Oregon and Washington. The Adviser may not transact business in states where it is not appropriately registered, excluded or exempted from registration. Individualized responses to persons that involve either the effecting of transaction in securities, or the rendering of personalized investment advice for compensation, will not be made without registration or exemption.
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