With a Roth IRA, you contribute money after taxes, your money grows tax-free, and you can generally make tax-free and penalty-free withdrawals after age 59 and a half. With a traditional IRA, you contribute money before or after taxes, your money grows with deferred taxes, and withdrawals are taxed as current income after age 59 and a half. Income from a Roth account may be tax-exempt rather than deferred. Therefore, you can't deduct contributions to a Roth IRA.
However, withdrawals you make during retirement may be tax-free. You can also transfer savings from your traditional IRA to a Roth IRA after paying taxes on your distributions. After age 70 and a half, you can continue to contribute to a Roth IRA, but you are no longer eligible to contribute to a traditional IRA. Consider opening a Roth IRA instead of a traditional IRA if you're more interested in earning tax-free income when you retire than in a tax deduction now when you contribute.
Whether a Roth IRA is more beneficial than a traditional IRA depends on the taxpayer's tax bracket, the expected tax rate at retirement, and personal preferences. For people who anticipate that they will be in a higher tax bracket when they are older or have retired, Roth IRAs may offer a beneficial option, since the money is not taxable, unlike withdrawals from 401 (k) accounts or a traditional IRA. The account holder can maintain the Roth IRA indefinitely; no minimum distributions (RMDs) are required over its lifespan, as is the case with 401 (k) and traditional IRAs. If you want the widest range of investment options, you should open a Roth Self-Directed IRA (SDIRA), a special category of Roth IRA in which the investor, not the financial institution, manages their investments.
The spousal Roth IRA is kept separate from the person making the contribution's Roth IRA, since Roth IRAs cannot be joint accounts. Ultimately, you can manage how you want to invest your Roth IRA by opening an account with a brokerage agency, bank, or qualified financial institution. Listen to Adam Bergman, from IRA Financial, talk about the differences between traditional and Roth IRAs in a recent podcast. Spousal contributions to the Roth IRA are subject to the same rules and limits as regular contributions to the Roth IRA.
Since Roth IRA withdrawals are made according to the above-mentioned FIFO and earnings are not considered affected until all contributions have been made first, their taxable distribution would be even lower with a Roth IRA. If you're thinking about opening a Roth IRA account at a bank or brokerage agency where you already have an account, check to see if existing customers receive any discounts on IRA fees.