Key Takeaways Roth IRAs are better when you think your marginal taxes will be higher in retirement than they are now. You can withdraw your contributions without penalty at any time. Every investment comes with risk, so it's a matter of deciding if a Roth IRA aligns with your financial situation and goals. In addition, participating in a qualified retirement plan has no influence on your eligibility to make contributions to the Roth IRA.
Because of those differences, you could end up paying more taxes in the long run than if you deposited the full amount you can afford to invest in a Roth account in the first place. For people who work for an employer, the compensation that is eligible to fund a Roth IRA includes salaries, salaries, commissions, bonuses, and other amounts paid to the person for the services they provide. While Roth IRAs are often considered retirement accounts and are most often used this way, there are no limits to who can contribute to them and when (as long as they meet the above income requirements). Roth IRAs are similar to traditional IRAs, and the biggest difference between the two is the way they are taxed.
It's also worth paying attention to the definition of earned income that the IRS uses to determine eligibility for Roth IRAs. There are a few things to know, mainly the positive and negative tax implications if you're considering a Roth IRA. In general, converting to a Roth IRA could give you greater flexibility in managing RMDs and potentially reducing your tax bill when you retire, but be sure to consult a qualified tax advisor and financial planner before making the decision and, if you decide to implement a systematic, multi-year Roth conversion plan. If your earned income exceeds the limit set by the IRS, you won't be able to contribute to a Roth IRA for that tax year.
So, if you have the money and meet income limits, you can contribute to a 401 (k) plan at work and then contribute to your own Roth IRA. If you don't name a beneficiary, your spouse (if he is your primary beneficiary) can choose to inherit your Roth IRA or transfer it to a Roth IRA in your name. This and other key differences make Roth IRAs a better option than traditional IRAs for some retirement savers; however, Roth IRAs are not available to everyone. The difference is that you can contribute more than you can contribute with a Roth IRA and there is no income limit.
Roth IRAs are open to anyone earning income in a given tax year, as long as they don't earn too much or too little.