(StatePoint) If you’re like many Americans, you have concerns about funding your retirement. According to a recent survey conducted by Ally Bank, retirement planning tops Americans’ financial anxieties.
Rather than take a head-in-the-sand approach to your future, be proactive. Wise investments can offer advantages like tax-free, aggressive growth. And experts say the best time to get started is now.
“The first few months of 2013 will be ideal for opening IRAs, as contributions made in this timeframe may be counted on 2012 tax returns,” advises Diane Morais, Ally Bank Product & Innovation executive. “Existing savers looking to grow their retirement nest egg securely may want to consider a rollover of their existing IRAs or qualified retirement plans, and it is important to shop around for the most competitive interest rate to ensure the best return on their investments.”
And the IRS announced in October 2012 that the limit on contributions to Traditional and Roth IRAs would rise for the first time since 2008, from $5,000 to $5,500.
“The increased contribution limit for 2013 makes now a prime opportunity for people of all ages to contribute meaningfully to their retirement savings,” Morais emphasizes.
Looking to boost your retirement readiness securely? Here are some important things to consider:
• The most common IRA plans are Traditional, Roth and Simplified Employee Pension IRAs. Depending on age and taxable income, you could have more than one IRA plan to choose from to help you meet your goals.
• Once you choose an IRA plan, you can typically select from a variety of products, from lower risk savings accounts and certificates of deposit (CD) to higher risk stocks, bonds and mutual funds.
• For secure growth, consider CDs and online savings accounts. Such products are less risky than stocks. Or roll over existing IRAs, 401(k) or 403(b)s into one IRA with great, stable rates.
• Look beyond branch banks. For example, a bank with no physical locations, such as Ally Bank, can offer competitive rates, low fees, and round-the-clock, live customer support.
• Be advised, there are restrictions as to how you can add money to IRAs based on age and when you can use the money you’ve saved. Your tax professional can help you determine the best plan for your needs. Above all, look for straightforward retirement products that will help you get closer to your retirement savings goals.
• Don’t be afraid to move around your retirement money to make the most of it. A direct roll over is fairly easy and avoids the tax withholding and associated reporting requirements of a personal withdrawal transaction.
• You can convert your Traditional IRA to a Roth IRA. Beginning in 2010, eligibility requirements based on income and marital status have been eliminated.
More information about retirement savings plans can be found at http://www.ally.com/bank/ira/.
Every day you wait is another day your retirement money isn’t actively growing. Whether you’re just getting started or building on your current savings, there’s no time like the present to make a contribution to your retirement account.