Many Americans save through IRA's because, like you, they want to enjoy a comfortable retirement. A comfortable retirement begins with sound financial planning, and that's exactly what an IRA represents - part of a sound financial planning package. IRA's offer you a number of advantages.
A retirement fund where you invest your after-tax dollars today, let the investment grow tax-deferred, and withdraw your principal and earnings tax-free after 5 years. (You may be subject to a 10% penalty on the earnings if taken before age 59 1/2).
If you satisfy two conditions, you may make tax-free and penalty-free withdrawals from your Roth IRA. First, the plan must have been open for a minimum of five years. Second, the withdrawal must be made after the occurrence of one of the following events:
Distributions, which meet the above requirements, are referred to as "qualifying distributions." While you may take distributions from your Roth IRA at any time, distributions which are not qualifying distributions will be subject to taxes (and in some cases early distributions penalties) to the extent they exceed your aggregate contributions to Roth IRA's.
An investment tool created for the purpose of paying for the future cost of a child's post-secondary education. The plan allows total after-tax contributions for each child until they reach the age of 18. These contributions and their subsequent earnings are tax-free when withdrawn to pay for qualified expenses.