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Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs)
An IRA is a special retirement savings account for individuals. All or part of the contribution in a savings account may be deductible from current taxes, depending on the individual's income and eligibility for an employer-sponsored qualified retirement plan (such as a 401(k) plan). Penalties usually apply for withdrawals before age 59 ½. Withdrawals may be taxed as income.
You can contribute to an IRA Savings Account, or purchase a Traditional IRA Certificate of Deposit. In addition, there are two other options: Roth and Education IRAs.
What is a Roth IRA?
The Roth IRA is an alternative to a traditional IRA. Most notable about a Roth IRA is withdrawals are tax-free if the account has been open for at least five years and you're at least 59 ½ when you start to withdraw money. Contributions to a Roth IRA are not tax deductible. The Roth IRA was named for Sen. William Roth, Jr., former chair of the Senate Finance Committee.
What is a Coverdell Education Savings Account?
Formerly known as an Education IRA, this is a savings plan to pay for your child's education. In 2001, these plans were renamed the Coverdell Education Savings Account (CESA) in honor of the late U.S. Sen. Paul Coverdell. The CESA allows for tax-favored savings to help pay your child's public or private schooling costs at any level. Coverdell earnings and withdrawals are tax-free, but you can't deduct the contributions from your income tax. The money contributed to a Coverdell Education Account doesn't count against any other combined annual IRA contributions.