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Regular IRA vs. Roth IRA Comparison

Which type of IRA is best for you depends on your situation, needs and objectives. The comparison that follows is designed to help you make an informed decision.

2015

Traditional IRA (tax deductible) Roth IRA Traditional IRA (non-deductible)
Deductible Contributions Yes No No1
Limit on Contributions Yes (lesser of $5500; $6000 if age 50+; or 100% of earned income Yes (lesser of $5500; $6500 if age 50+; or 100% of earned income Yes (lesser of $5500; $6500 if age 50+; or 100% of earned income
Tax-Deferred Growth Yes Yes Yes
Age Limits Yes (contributions cannot be made after age 70-1/2) No Yes (contributions cannot be made after age 70-1/2)
Income Limits No Yes (contribution phased out if adjusted gross income exceeds specified limits No
Min Distribution Requirements Yes (distributions must begin by age 70-1/2) No Yes (distributions must begin by age 70-1/2)
Bankruptcy Protection Original Owner: Yes, Up to $1 million for all IRAs

Inherited IRA: No

Original Owner: Yes, Up to $1 million for all IRAs

Inherited IRA: No

Original Owner: Yes, Up to $1 million for all IRAs

Inherited IRA: No

(1) Traditional IRA contributions are fully deductible from income unless an individual and/or spouse are active participants in an employer-sponsored retirement plan, including a tax-deferred annuity (TDA). In that event, the IRA deduction is gradually phased out as adjusted gross income exceeds specified limits, in which case an IRA contribution may be partially deductible or non-deductible.

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