TD Ameritrade

IRA Guide

What is an IRA?

Understanding the Basics

What is an IRA? An Individual Retirement Account, or IRA, is an account that lets you invest and earmark funds for retirement, which can give you significant tax advantages. The most common IRA’s are Traditional and Roth. Provided that you are aware and abide by the rules and restrictions, an IRA can be one of the most efficient, cost-effective, and beneficial vehicles you have for funding your retirement.

Besides the structure that IRAs provide to your retirement plan, they also have tax advantages. While you have your choice of investments and any investment can lose value, an IRA will essentially help you keep more of your potential gains, which can help you accumulate more with the power of compound interest or reinvested dividends or returns.


While these benefits are important, it’s also vital to understand that IRAs have distribution rules that make it costly for you to withdraw funds before you retire. This is by design, and discourages early withdrawals. Withdrawals made before the mandated retirement age from an IRA are taxable and may result in a penalty, draining away any tax savings you may have reaped from making contributions through the years.

Why Should You Open an IRA?

When you open a no-maintenance fee TD Ameritrade IRA you can take advantage of helpful planning tools like Retirement Planner, the IRA Selection Tool, and the 401k Rollover Calculator. And we make it easy to fund your retirement account right away with convenient deposits right from your smartphone or tablet. No matter your retirement goals, TD Ameritrade makes it easy to open an IRA that may best fit your objectives.

Keep your old 401k working for you

You have choices when it comes to managing your old 401k retirement assets. Learn more.

Save more with a Roth conversion

Take advantage of every savings strategy you can. A Roth conversion may help you do that.

IRA Contribution Rules

IRA contributions and income rules may vary from year to year. Learn more about your ability to participate and contribute.

Learn more about the advantages of IRAs on The Ticker Tape

Looking for Guidance?

Get help aligning your investment strategy to your goals with managed portfolios from TD Ameritrade Investment Management, LLC. These professionally managed portfolios are designed to help you pursue your financial needs as they change and grow.

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