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Individual Retirement Account (IRA)

Individual retirement accounts (IRA) are beneficial for individuals who do not have access to an employer 401(k), who cannot save enough for retirement through a 401(k) alone, or who want to invest in assets unavailable in their employer 401(k). IRAs are offered by a wide variety of banks, brokers, and financial advisors. Generally, opening an individual retirement account with a broker or financial advisor will allow you to invest in stocks and bonds, while banks will offer certificates of deposit and savings accounts.

There are four common types of individual retirement accounts: Traditional, Roth, SEP, and Simple. Each type of account has specific tax advantages that are suited for different users based on their age, income, and savings rate. However, all IRA accounts have contribution limits and early withdrawal penalties.