Roth IRA: what they are and how they work

Roth IRA is a personal or individual retirement account that allows the account holder to withdraw payments without any deduction of tax. You can also open this special type of account if you fulfill all the requirements. Many people question what is the difference between the conventional IRA and Roth IRA account.

A Roth IRA is opened when the holder pays the taxes before depositing his/her retirement funds. Therefore, this category of retirement account allows the holder to withdraw money tax-free. However, on the other hand, for opening a conventional IRA, the beneficiary doesn’t have to pay income tax, but a little bit of tax deduction is there.

But when they withdraw their retirement funds, they’ve to face an income tax deduction every time. The above-mentioned key disparities make Roth IRA a much better option for retired persons than a conventional IRA.

Key takeaways

➔ In Roth IRAs, employees pay income taxes initially, but all withdrawals are free of tax deductions afterward

➔ With this account, you can benefit from the annual growth rate

➔ This account is ideal for those individuals who think today’s tax is less than what they have to pay after retirement in the future

➔ You can’t contribute to Roth IRA if your yearly income exceeds $140,000 as a single person and $208,000 as a couple

➔ Moreover, the amount you can contribute per year depends upon your age. In 2021, if you can contribute $6,000 in Roth IRA, but if you’re above 50 years of age, you can contribute $7,000

➔ Nearly all brokerage firms offer Roth IRAs (both physical and online). Moreover, investment companies and banks also offer this special type of retirement account.

Who is eligible for opening a Roth IRA?

All the American citizens that have taxable compensation can contribute to Roth IRA after fulfilling the requirements, including modified adjusted gross income (MAGI) and tax filing status. You’ll become ineligible if your income exceeds the specific amount, which changes periodically. The chart of the figure for the years 2020 and 2021 is given below:

Are you eligible for it?

Category2020 MAGI2021 MAGI
Head of a family, married but living separately without a spouse, and singleFull: Less than 124,000 USDReduced: Between 124,000 USD to139,000 USDFull: Less than 125,000 USDReduced: Between125,000 USD to 140,000 USD
Married filing individually but living with a spouseFull: 0 USDReduced: Less than 10,000 USDFull: 0 USDReduced: Less than 10,000 USD
Married filing a joint tax returnFull: 196,000 USDReduced: 196,000 USD to 206,000 USDFull: 198,000 USDReduced: 198,000 USD to 208,000 USD

How can you open a Roth IRA?

You can open this retirement account with a brokerage firm or bank. In case you intend to invest your contribution in shares or bonds, you can open a Roth IRA with the brokerage firm.

You’ll see your investment growing with time as you are to contribute a maximum of $6000 per year. Besides, another retirement savings account can be rolled into a Roth IRA. Almost all the brokers, banks, and Robo advisers offer Roth IRAs. Let’s have a look below to learn what’s the difference between them.


The banks offer a savings account rather than an investment. That’s why their Roth IRA isn’t ideal for long-term growth.


They are preferred for opening a Roth due to their proactive approach, which helps the individual follow the right investment methodology with the contributions into the account.

Robo advisers

If you ratify a hands-off approach in investment, then you would be better off with a Robo-adviser and its computerized investment.

Benefits of Roth IRA?

Tax savings

If you believe that income tax is going to be higher in the future, then Roth IRA is appropriate for you. It is so because you’ve to pay income in the following year of the contribution.

Quick withdrawals

The best part of a Roth IRA is you can withdraw your savings at any time you want without any tax, penalty, and markup. Moreover, you’ll be penalized if you withdraw your investment savings before reaching 59 ½ years of age.

Double dipping

Many people ask can we open both Roth IRA and conventional IRA at a time. In this way, you can contribute to Roth IRA along with 401(k)s.

No requirement for minimum distribution

A Roth IRA is not subject to a minimum distribution, unlike a traditional IRA. Besides, the minimum distribution requirement for a 401(k)s account.

Flexible timing

A Roth IRA gives the option to contribute the maximum yearly contribution on the very first day, or you can contribute to this account on an installment basis. Moreover, you’ll have additional time to contribute for the past year until the deadline of the tax filing.

Tax-free distributions

After you reach 59 ½ years of age and being the account holder for five years, you’ll be eligible to take distributions, including your earnings from this account, without falling into any federal taxes.

No age restriction

There is no age restriction for opening this special type of IRA. You can contribute according to your MAGI. Also, the only requirement is that you are earning money and you can contribute more than what you earn.

Drawbacks of Roth IRA?

After reading the whole post completely, you’ve got to know the amazing benefits of Roth IRA, but nothing is perfect. We all know the same is the case with Roth IRA. Let’s look at the downside of Roth IRA:

  1. If you want to withdraw your investment contribution from a Roth IRA, then you’ll get a 10 percent penalty except when you meet some handful of exceptions.
  2. Unlike 401(k)s retirement accounts, you can’t get the loan on your Roth IRA. Moreover, the reason behind this is you can withdraw your investment savings without the tax deduction, penalties, or markup.


Is a Roth IRA a bad idea?

You can actually lose money with a Roth IRA if you’re earning a lot of money. It is likely that you will be in a higher tax bracket and pay more in taxes than you would have had to have if you had used a traditional IRA.

Is there a five-year Roth IRA rule?

According to the first five-year rule, you must wait five years after contributing to a Roth IRA before you can withdraw your earnings tax-free. In general, the five-year period begins on the first day of the tax year in which you contributed to a Roth IRA, not necessarily the one you are withdrawing from.

What are the best ways to avoid taxes when converting a Roth IRA?

You can avoid conversion taxes if you first transfer funds from your previously deducted IRA into your employer’s plan if your company’s plan allows you to roll in funds from IRAs. Before converting anything, you would do this first.

How much time do you have to contribute to a Roth IRA?

After reaching the age of 70 1/2, you can contribute to your Roth IRA. Roth IRA amounts can be left in the account as long as you live. Roth IRAs should be set up as Roth annuities whenever they are set up.


Roth IRAs are tax-advantaged retirement plans for both individuals and families. If the income is less than $137,000 (married filing jointly) or $118,000 (single filer), individuals can contribute the maximum amount of their earnings. In case of disability or death, contributions are also able to be withdrawn without penalty, but any earnings on those funds will be subject to taxes, along with penalties, depending on when the contributions were made. I want to improve my financial control as an individual