What are you doing to make your golden years a little more golden? Are you willing to settle for silver instead? Bronze, perchance? After filing an exceptionally long -- and mostly embarrassing -- Schedule D after my first year in the market, I knew that a taxable account wasn't going to cut it with me and my amateurishly quick-trigger trading ways.
I read up on IRAs, and they seemed just right for me. I kicked in my $2,000 annual contributions, and when the Roth IRA was made available, I rolled my traditional IRA into that more tax-advantageous vehicle.
With the tax-filing deadline just around the corner, you still have time to make a 2005 contribution before April 17. Open a brokerage-account Roth IRA and you can even relish the irony of picking up tax-filers like H&R Block (NYSE: HRB ) or Jackson-Hewitt (NYSE: JTX ) .
My reasons for going the IRA route weren't noble. I still can't believe that my youthful impatience forced me to sell Amgen (Nasdaq: AMGN ) at a loss. Thankfully, my trades are few and far between these days. It's done wonders for my return. In fact, I have to go back to the 1990s to find the last time that I had an active taxable account.
However, IRAs aren't for everyone. There are other ways to plan for your retirement. It's why we're here this week to talk about the good, the bad, and the ugly of IRAs.
This week, Tim Beyers is the bull and Rule Your Retirement editor Robert Brokamp is here to argue the bearish case.
Is an IRA right for you? That's what this week's Duel is all about.