Back to List

Should You Contribute to a Roth IRA?

One of the most common questions we get as financial planners is, “What kind of IRA is best for me, Roth or Traditional?”

Both accounts are powerful retirement savings vehicles, but they each have unique advantages and disadvantages. Like a Traditional IRA, Roth accounts allow individuals to invest in the market while avoiding capital gains on their investments. Both account types also have 401(k) counterparts, assuming that your retirement plan allows for them.

For Roth IRAs, you pay taxes on your contributions when you make them, unlike Traditional IRA accounts, for which you pay taxes on your distributions. Similarly, Roth IRA accounts allow for tax-free distributions (including investment earnings) when you reach retirement age. Additionally, Roth contributions can be withdrawn, without penalty, assuming you meet certain guidelines.

The first consideration when trying to determine which IRA is right for you is your tax bracket. Think of it like this, if you believe your taxes will be lower (as a percentage) in retirement, then a Traditional IRA may make sense. Conversely, if you are in a lower tax bracket now than you will be when retired, a Roth IRA may be best.

In 2019, the maximum contribution to a Roth IRA is $6,000 – up from $5,500 in 2018. For persons over age 50, an additional $1,000 can be contributed to the account. Like Traditional IRAs, there are also income thresholds. However, while traditional IRA thresholds refer to deductibility of contributions, Roth IRA thresholds refer to eligibility.

For example, in 2019, a married couple with a modified adjusted gross income of $190,000 cannot deduct Traditional IRA contributions. They can make Traditional IRA contributions, but they cannot deduct them, or they can also make Roth IRA contributions. For this couple in particular, it probably makes sense to contribute to the Roth IRA only after both spouses have contributed $19,000 each to their respective 401(k)s ($25,000 if they are over age 50).

If you have questions about which is right for you, contact us for a consultation.


Gainplan LLC is a Registered Investment Adviser. This blog is solely for informational purposes and not a solicitation to invest. Advisory services are only offered to clients or prospective clients where Gainplan LLC and its representatives are properly licensed or exempt from licensure. Past performance is no guarantee of future returns. Investing involves risk and possible loss of principal capital. No advice may be rendered by Gainplan LLC unless a client service agreement is in place. Please contact a financial advisory professional before making any investment.

Gainplan LLC provides links for your convenience to websites produced by other providers or industry related material. Accessing websites through links directs you away from our website. Gainplan LLC is not responsible for errors or omissions in the material on third party websites, and does not necessarily approve of or endorse the information provided. Users who gain access to third party websites may be subject to the copyright and other restrictions on use imposed by those providers and assume responsibility and risk from use of those websites.

Categories: Industry Ideas

Subscribe to Our Blog