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Saving beyond your retirement plan
If you’re ready to invest additional money for future goals outside of your employer's retirement plan, there may be plenty of options available.
Establish your priorities
Before you start putting money away, make a list of things you’re saving for and rank them in order of priority. Examples might include retirement, college, starting a business and travel, among others. Put a dollar value on each goal as well. Knowing how much you’ll likely need in the future will help you plan and prepare.
Decide where to invest your money
Once you know what you want to save for and how much money you’re going to need, it's time to decide where to invest. Some options offer unique tax advantages that can really make a difference over time.
More about your investment options
Following is a breakdown of some of the investment options that may help you pursue your long-term savings goals.
|Possible long-term goals and ways to help save for them|
IRA, Roth IRA or Brokerage account
529 education savings plan, IRA
IRA or Roth IRA Annuity
An IRA is one way to invest up to $5,500 per year ($6,500 if you're age 50 or over) for 2016 and 2017. You can select mutual funds, stocks, or other investments. Your IRA contribution may be tax deductible. Check with your tax advisor.
Any growth of your IRA account is not taxed until you start drawing funds. Ordinarily, withdrawals prior to age 59-1/2 are subject to a withdrawal penalty in addition to ordinary income tax; however, the penalty is waived for first-time home purchases (up to $10,000) and qualified higher education expenses.
A Roth IRA works much like a traditional IRA, with three key differences:
- No taxes are owed on qualified withdrawals.*
- Contributions you make are not tax deductible.
- The penalty on withdrawals before age 59-1/2 is waived for first-time home purchase only if you’ve had the Roth account for more than five years.
Some eligibility requirements and restrictions apply to both traditional IRA and Roth IRA accounts. Before you invest in either, it’s important to make sure you meet the requirements.
An annuity is an insurance product that you can purchase to provide income in retirement. You are not required to pay taxes on any growth until you take money out (A 10% penalty may also apply for withdrawals before age 59 ½). Your investment choices can be variable, meaning they rise and fall with the markets, or fixed, meaning you get a guaranteed return.
If you choose a 529 education savings plan, one investment option may be for you to put the money in investments that reallocate over time to align with your college start date. As long as the money is used for qualified education expenses, you won't pay state or federal taxes on any growth in the account. If you use a 529 plan offered by the state you live in, you may also be able to deduct the amount you contribute each year.
Most states offer a 529 college savings plan. Before investing, check your state's website for information about any favorable state tax benefits that are only available if you invest in that state’s plan. See the plan disclosure booklet for details. Limitations apply.1
With a brokerage account, you can invest money for future goals, usually on an after-tax basis. You can put money in a wide range of investments such as stocks, bonds, mutual funds, exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and more. Brokerage services are fee based. If you use a brokerage account for your IRA, ordinary tax and penalty rules may apply.
Watch out for fees, taxes and penalties
Many of the investments mentioned above can help you defer and possibly lower your taxes while saving for your goals. You may lose some flexibility with regard to when and how you may take money out. To avoid unwanted fees, taxes or penalties, know the rules before you invest. It's also wise to build up an emergency fund in an account that you can pull from without penalties.
If you’re looking to invest for long-term goals outside of your employer’s retirement plan, plenty of options exist. Whether your goals include additional retirement savings, education, travel or something else, it’s likely you’ll find a way to invest that offers some tax savings.
*Withdrawals of earnings prior to age 59 1/2 are subject to ordinary income tax and a 10% penalty may apply. Earnings can be distributed tax free if distribution is no earlier than five years after contributions were first made and you meet at least one of the following conditions: age 59 1/2 or older or permanently disabled. Beneficiaries may receive a distribution in the event of your death.
1 Non-qualified withdrawals may be subject to federal and state taxes and the additional federal 10% tax.
This information is not intended to be a substitute for specific individualized tax, legal, or investment planning advice. Where specific advice is necessary or appropriate, we recommend that you consult with a qualified tax advisor, CPA, financial planner, or investment manager.
You should consider the investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses carefully before investing. Please call 877-518-9161 or log on to www.TIAA.org for underlying product and fund prospectuses that contain this and other information. Please read the prospectuses carefully before investing.
Certain securities may not be suitable for all investors. Securities are subject to investment risk, including possible loss of the principal amount invested.
Annuities are designed for retirement and other long-term goals. They offer several payment options, including lifetime income that is backed by the claims-paying ability of the issuing insurance company. When you contribute to an annuity, your money must remain in it until you reach 59-1/2. If you make a withdrawal before then, the money will be taxed as ordinary income and you may be subject to an additional 10% early withdrawal penalty. Furthermore, if you choose to invest in the variable investment products, your money will be subject to the risks inherent in investing in securities, including the loss of principal.
Investment, insurance and annuity products are not FDIC insured, are not bank guaranteed, are not bank deposits, are not insured by any federal government agency, are not a condition to any banking service or activity, and may lose value.
Roger Ferguson, CEO