3 retirement accounts that run circles around a 401(k).
Not everyone has access to a 401(k) plan, but if you work for a company that offers a 401(k) plan and match, it’s worth making a contribution. This is a great way to snag some retirement money for free.
But if you don’t have a 401(k) to contribute to, don’t worry. While 401(k) plans are a useful savings tool, they have certain downsides — namely, high fees and limited investment opportunities. In fact, even if you to do If you have a 401(k), once you’ve contributed enough to fully snag your employer, you may want to deposit your remaining money into one of these accounts instead.
1. Roth IRAs
Roth IRAs do not offer an immediate tax break for the money you deposit. What you do to do However, the offer is tax-free growth in your account and tax-free withdrawals in retirement.
Additionally, Roth IRAs are the only tax-advantaged retirement plan that does not require minimum distributions (RMDs). RMDs currently take effect from age 72 and effectively force you to spend a large chunk of your life savings. That might not be a problem if you need your savings to live on. But if you’re hoping to leave your heirs a lot of money, that’s a problem.
With a Roth IRA, you can avoid RMDs. And that gives you more flexibility in how you use your hard-earned savings.
2. Health Savings Accounts
An HSA is not technically a retirement account. Rather, it’s a hybrid savings and investment account that allows you to set aside money for near-term and distant healthcare costs.
But HSA can function as a retirement plan for two reasons. First, healthcare could become a major expense for you during your senior years. And having funds earmarked for it could lessen that burden later in life.
Second, once you turn 65, HSAs are effectively converted into a traditional retirement plan. This means you will not be penalized for making withdrawals for non-medical purposes. Instead, you’re simply taxed on monies you remove that aren’t related to health care.
The appeal of the HSA, meanwhile, is that it has triple tax breaks. Contributions are received in pre-tax dollars and the funds invested are allowed to grow tax-free. Withdrawals are also tax-free when used to cover qualifying healthcare expenses.
3. Regular Broker Accounts
Just as an HSA is not technically a retirement account, a regular brokerage account also falls into this category. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t use a regular brokerage account for retirement purposes. And that has one big advantage – flexibility.
With a regular brokerage account, you will not enjoy any tax benefits. But you are not subject to any restrictions.
If you’re retiring at the age of 50 and want to withdraw from this account to cover your expenses, that’s your prerogative. With an IRA or 401(k), you must leave your money where it is until age 59 1/2 (unless you are prepared to face costly penalties, which you shouldn’t).
Funding a 401(k) could give you plenty of retirement wealth. But if you don’t have access to one or aren’t thrilled with your employer’s plan, it’s definitely worth exploring other options.