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John Burnside

What is a Roth IRA?

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A Roth IRA is a personal retirement account where individuals can make direct contributions. The account type is available through most financial institutions.


The maximum contribution per year in 2018:

Type Age <50 Age >=50
Individual $5,500



See contribution and eligibility details


Main Feature

Money is contributed on an after-tax basis (no tax deduction), but in return, money can be withdrawn tax-free at retirement.



The Roth IRA was created by the Tax Payer Relief Act in 1997. Senator William Roth Jr., chief legislative sponsor, thought it very important for both the nation and for families that we all saved more.



  • A person can contribute to a Roth IRA at any age.
  • There are no Required Minimum Distributions (RMD).
  • Contributions, but not earnings, can be withdrawn tax and penalty free at any time.
  • Earnings can be withdrawn tax and penalty free if the account is held for at least 5 years.
  • Early Withdrawal penalty is 10%.
  • If you earn less than the maximum contribution, you can contribute only as much as you earn.
  • Exceptions for withdrawal requirements include death, disability, purchase of first home, and higher education costs.



Senator William Roth Jr., Delaware



If legal, tax, or other professional advice is required, the services of a competent professional should be sought. This post should not be considered investment advice. This information is subject to change and/or be edited. Past performance is not a guarantee of future results.

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