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Personal Finance For Dummies®, 6th Edition by Eric Tyson

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Chapter 11. Investing in Retirement Accounts

In This Chapter

  • Deciding among different retirement accounts

  • Determining how to allocate money in retirement accounts

  • Moving your retirement account to a new firm

This chapter helps you make sense of the various retirement account options and decide how to invest money you currently hold inside — or plan to contribute to — retirement accounts. (To see how much money you should be saving toward retirement, see Chapter 4.)

Looking at Types of Retirement Accounts

Retirement accounts offer numerous benefits. In most cases, your contributions to retirement accounts are tax-deductible. The contribution limits increased significantly in the earlier part of the first decade of the 2000s. And when you place your money inside the retirement account, it compounds without taxation until you withdraw it. (Some accounts, such as the newer Roth IRA, even allow for tax-free withdrawal of investment earnings.) If your adjusted gross income is below $55,500 per year for married taxpayers filing jointly ($27,750 for single taxpayers), you may be eligible for a new, special tax credit for making retirement account contributions — please refer to Table 7-2 in Chapter 7. The following sections detail the types of retirement accounts and explain how to determine whether you're eligible and how to make the best use of them.

Employer-sponsored plans

Your employer sets up this type of retirement plan and usually provides a limited selection of investment options. All ...

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