Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

Why a Roth IRA Is Your Retirement Best Friend

By Charlene Rhinehart, CPA - Jun 8, 2021 at 6:30AM

You’re reading a free article with opinions that may differ from The Motley Fool’s Premium Investing Services. Become a Motley Fool member today to get instant access to our top analyst recommendations, in-depth research, investing resources, and more. Learn More

This is one relationship that you can count on through thick and thin.

Although retirement looks different for everyone, there's no doubt that having a Roth IRA (individual retirement account) by your side can make every moment a bit more rewarding.

For starters, you can look forward to receiving a pile of cash that you won't have to share with the IRS when you retire. You can also gain access to exclusive benefits that can help you live the life you want right now.

It's no secret that the Roth IRA provides wonderful perks that age like fine wine. The longer you maximize your contribution power, the more tax-free benefits you can unlock during retirement. If you're ready to create a happier retirement, here are just a few reasons why a Roth IRA may be the lifelong companion you need on your journey. 

Two young people hugging indoors.

Image source: Getty Images.

Grow your investments tax-free 

Savers of all ages fall head over heels for the Roth IRA because of this incredible feature: tax-free income.

As soon as you reach 59 1/2 and have checked the box on the five-year rule, you'll be eligible to withdraw every penny in your Roth IRA 100% tax-free. You can think of it as a retirement bonus that you'll earn for paying your tax bill upfront and being patient during the growth process. 

As you grow older, your Roth IRA has the potential to grow with you thanks to the power of compound interest. Let's say you're 23 years old, contribute $6,000 every year for the next 40 years, and invest in high-quality assets. As long as you're not tempted to touch any of your contributions, you can achieve millionaire status by 60 if you're earning a 7% return. Because your money is tucked away inside a Roth IRA, you'll be able to use every dollar earned any way you want without worrying about taxes. 

Turn to your Roth IRA during the tough times 

If you're ever in a jam, you can count on your Roth IRA to save the day. This account can double as your retirement fund and emergency savings fund when money is tight, though it's best to keep your money growing in your account to take advantage of the power of compounding.  

Let's say you contribute $6,000 and need to withdraw it five years later. You can go into your account and grab your contribution without any taxes or penalties. But be careful when it comes to touching the earnings in your account. This could sound off the IRS alarm if you haven't met the withdrawal eligibility requirements.

It's a bit easier to sleep at night knowing that the money you contribute to a Roth IRA won't be locked up forever. You can always withdraw what you contribute without any repercussions since you've already paid taxes on the funds.

Bypass required minimum distributions 

You may not be thinking about required minimum distributions (RMDs) now, but it's a big deal when you're in your 70s. RMDs are a mandatory withdrawal amount for retirement plans. Once you hit a certain age, you'll have to withdraw money and add the funds to your taxable income for the year. 

Fortunately, you don't have to worry about RMD calculations and taxes with the Roth IRA. This account comes with built-in flexibility that allows you to withdraw the funds anytime you want after you've met the basic requirements. If you don't need to touch the funds during your lifetime, you can always transfer your Roth IRA to your heirs and leave them with a tax-free benefit (certain rules apply).  

Gain a true friend until the end 

The Roth IRA is far more than a regular retirement account. It can be your safety net to pay for college, buy a home, or fund an emergency. Since there are no age restrictions, anyone can enjoy this financial companion as long as they have earned income and fall within the income ranges

To make the most of your relationship with a Roth IRA, aim to contribute the maximum amount every year and allow the money to grow. You can open an account even if you have an employer-sponsored retirement plan or plan to start your entrepreneurial journey. Before you know it, your Roth IRA will be a money-making machine that allows you to achieve your boldest retirement dreams. 

The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Invest Smarter with The Motley Fool

Join Over 1 Million Premium Members Receiving…

  • New Stock Picks Each Month
  • Detailed Analysis of Companies
  • Model Portfolios
  • Live Streaming During Market Hours
  • And Much More
Get Started Now

Related Articles

Motley Fool Returns

Motley Fool Stock Advisor

Market-beating stocks from our award-winning analyst team.

Stock Advisor Returns
S&P 500 Returns

Calculated by average return of all stock recommendations since inception of the Stock Advisor service in February of 2002. Returns as of 08/11/2022.

Discounted offers are only available to new members. Stock Advisor list price is $199 per year.

Premium Investing Services

Invest better with The Motley Fool. Get stock recommendations, portfolio guidance, and more from The Motley Fool's premium services.