Linda M. Tuttle

Traditional IRA vs. Roth IRA vs. Self-Directed IRA: Which One’s Right for You?

In a world full of financial acronyms and investment options, the terms "IRA" and "self-directed IRA" might leave you scratching your head. In this week's YouTube video, I discussed some information about Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs), Roth IRAs and explored the fascinating world of self-directed IRAs. In this blog post, we'll provide a condensed summary of that video, shedding light on the differences between traditional and Roth IRAs while introducing the exciting concept of self-directed IRAs.

Traditional vs. Roth IRA: The Basics

To build a solid understanding of IRAs, it's essential to grasp the fundamental differences between traditional and Roth accounts.

Traditional IRA: Contributions to a traditional IRA are often tax-deductible, reducing your taxable income for the year in which you make the contributions. The money grows tax-deferred, meaning you don't pay taxes on earnings until you withdraw the funds during retirement. These withdrawals are then subject to income tax.

Roth IRA: In contrast, Roth IRA contributions are made with after-tax dollars, so they don't provide immediate tax benefits. However, the real magic happens during retirement. All your qualified withdrawals from a Roth IRA are entirely tax-free, including both contributions and earnings.

Eligibility and Contribution Limits

Eligibility and contribution limits vary between Traditional and Roth IRAs.  Everyone's financial situation is different, so I suggest talking to your tax advisor to determine what the best situation is for you.

Self-Directed IRAs: The Game-Changer 

Now that we've got the traditional and Roth IRAs covered, it's time to introduce the intriguing concept of self-directed IRAs.

What is a self-directed IRA? A self-directed IRA is a unique investment vehicle that allows you to invest in a wide range of assets beyond the typical stocks, bonds, and mutual funds. This can include real estate, private companies, precious metals, and more.

The power of control: The real beauty of a self-directed IRA lies in the control it grants you over your investments. Instead of relying solely on traditional financial instruments, you can diversify your retirement portfolio with alternative investments that align with your financial goals.

Caveats and regulations: Of course, with great power comes responsibility. Self-directed IRAs come with strict rules and regulations, such as prohibiting certain prohibited transactions and requiring a custodian to oversee your investments.

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Linda M. Tuttle

Traditional IRA vs. Roth IRA vs. Self-Directed IRA: Which One’s Right for You?


Understanding the differences between traditional and Roth IRAs is the first step in making informed retirement planning decisions. By introducing the concept of self-directed IRAs, we've opened the door to a world of investment possibilities beyond the ordinary. I hope this blog post has provided you with a clearer picture of these retirement account options, helping you take a step closer to securing your financial future.

Remember, it's always a good idea to consult a financial advisor or tax professional to tailor your retirement strategy to your specific needs and goals. 

If you are interested in learning more about setting up a Self-Directed account or discussing your personal situation, I am currently booking one-on-one year end tax consultations to help make sure you are maximizing your deductions before year end.  You can book that HERE.  


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Linda Tuttle
Linda Tuttle

I hope you found value in this post. I share a new weekly training here on the blog each week for you, with different topics to help you grow your business and maximize your income so you can live the life you want as you prepare for retirement. If there are topics you would like me to cover, let me know.

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