What Are the Different Types of IRAs and Retirement Plans?

People often hate to think about the future and how things will be. While that’s something that could help you on an emotional basis, it works differently when talking about your financial situation.

Even if you are in a stable and comfortable financial situation now, you don’t know how things will change after a few years. The best you can do to ensure you never get into any money-related problems is to have retirement savings.

Opening and managing an individual retirement account or a different retirement plan is an ideal way to do that. However, it’s not easy to do that if you are not an expert on the matter.

You should know several things before starting to save money or opening an individual retirement account. Read on to know the different retirement plans and individual retirement accounts available now.

You can find more information about each of them on our website, so visit it if you want to invest in your retirement savings.


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What Is an IRA?

IRA stands for an individual retirement account, and as its name suggests, it works as an account that focuses on your retirement. The best thing about most types of IRAs is that they give you tax advantages on the money you have in them until you withdraw them.

Individual retirement accounts either have a tax-free or tax-deferred basis, so you have tax advantages regardless of the one you pick. Since they are meant for you to withdraw your funds when you retire, there are some consequences if you try to use them before that.

It’s worth noting IRAs are not the same as a 401K retirement plan. They are made to help people save money for retirement, but they have different rules.

Also, see what is a Roth Gold IRA.

What Are Retirement Plans for?

Retirement Plan

Retirement plans help you get a decent tax income when you retire. One of the biggest fears of the elderly is not being able to earn enough money for a living after they stop working.

Individual retirement accounts don’t count as retirement plans, as they have different ways to work. The better these plans are, the higher the fixed income you will have when you retire.

In a nutshell, retirement plans give you a fixed monthly income, and IRAs help you get tax advantages on your retirement savings.

Apart from that, IRAs, as their name suggests, are individual accounts only one person handles. Retirement plans, on the other hand, let employers invest in the financial security of their employees.

Regardless of that, some retirement plans people invest in their retirement savings too.

When someone starts working for a company, their employer often shows them the retirement plan they have for them as one of the appeals of working for them.

What Are Tax Deductible Contributions?

Tax-deductible contributions or donations let people or a qualified organization make the income from a source tax-free.

The main appeal of retirement plans and individual retirement accounts is to have tax-deducted money when they stop working. That, naturally, leads to having more money.

All plans and accounts have different rules, so you should ask a financial expert how much of your IRA contributions you can deduct from your taxes.

Things are different with Roth IRA contributions, as they are made with after-tax dollars.

Benefits of Investing in an IRA

The main benefit of investing in an IRA is that you can save money for your retirement and enjoy tax benefits. Whether it’s tax-free or tax-deferred, that benefit could make the money you invest in your retirement more in the future.

IRAs give you more investment freedom than most retirement plans. Since they are individual accounts, you can decide how you contribute to your future and the financial moves you make.

Roth IRAs, for example, support portfolio diversification, which means you won’t have to worry about after-tax dollars or other assets losing their value in the long term.

Regardless of that, the type of IRA you choose will always have several pros and cons. Talking about Roth IRAs again, even if they give you several tax benefits, the maximum contribution to the account is low.

It’s up to you to choose the one that best matches your needs and investment style. However, traditional and Roth IRAs are both excellent options for your retirement savings.

You should know that managing a Roth IRA or any other kind of retirement account is not easy. The main advantage of trying a retirement plan is that you don’t have to handle it yourself.

People can just let their bosses manage everything and enjoy the money they get in the future. After all, they can see how the retirement plan of the company works when they first start working for it.

However, if you want a customized way to invest in your future, a traditional or Roth IRA is an excellent option. The same happens with self-employed people or employees of a company that doesn’t offer a retirement plan.

What Are the Different Types of IRAs and Retirement Plans to Invest in Your Retirement Savings?

Most people trying to invest in their future through an IRA only know how traditional or Roth IRAs work, but there are many other types of accounts and plans apart from them.

They are the more popular ones due to their benefits, but no one should undermine what others offer.

We are here to tell you the main options available. These are the different types of IRAs and retirement plans you can try:

Traditional IRA

Traditional IRAs are one of the most common types of IRAs people can go for. It offers the same tax benefits and features as most retirement accounts, so it’s a good start to learn about the others.

This retirement account allows you to contribute pre-tax dollars to it. What’s the benefit of that? Mainly that the investments in a traditional IRA grow tax-deferred.

While Roth IRA contributions don’t offer many tax benefits, Traditional IRA contributions are deductible from your taxable income.

When you invest in a Traditional IRA, you invest in a retirement account, so you can’t withdraw your money before being 59 1/2 years old without penalties. Trying to withdraw your money from a Traditional IRA leads to a 10% penalty.

Withdrawals from a Traditional IRA are taxed at your income tax rate.

Traditional IRA holders should be aware of the schedule for annual contributions and the contribution limit.

The custodian of a Traditional IRA will always put the money that goes to it into different investment vehicles, which makes it a better option for people interested in portfolio diversification.

Also, see what is a Traditional Gold IRA.

Simple IRA

Savings Incentive Match Plan, or SIMPLE, is a type of IRA for employees. Traditional and Roth IRAs allow employee contributions, and retirement plans allow employer ones, but SIMPLE accounts do both.

When you open a Savings Incentive Match Plan, you can make employee and employer contribution limits with no problem.

This is the perfect plan for employers who didn’t offer any retirement plan but want to offer a startup to hire more employees.

Why is it good? Because it still gives employees the freedom to contribute to their future as they would with a Traditional or Roth IRA with help from their boss.

We don’t recommend you try this retirement plan if you have a big company. It’s meant for startups and small business owners with companies that work with less than 100 people.

Why can’t you use this tax-advantaged investment account for a big business? Because it’s difficult or nearly impossible for bosses or bigger enterprises to handle how each account works individually.

Although the previous retirement accounts mentioned offer the main benefits and allow IRA contributions in a similar way, enrolling in a Simplified Employee Pension plan brings something different to the table.

You can use a SEP IRA to invest in precious metals such as gold and silver. Many people choose precious metals as the must-go option for their retirement.

The reason for that is gold works as a hedge against inflation, which means it keeps its price even when other assets lose it. Investing in an asset like that for your retirement account gives you a safety net against any emergency.

Simplified Employee Pension retirement accounts only tax the withdrawals of your taxable income during your retirement and not before. The only problem with it is that the IRS limits the contributions you can make to it.

Self-Directed IRA

Self-Directed IRAs are popular among investors because they give them more freedom to make all the financial moves they want. However, that leads to higher risks, so we only recommend financial experts try this type of IRA.

Similar to Traditional and Roth IRAs, self-directed accounts allow you to get tax benefits on the money you get into them. That also means it has the same contribution limits as those accounts.

The main difference between self-directed accounts and others is the assets you get in the account and the freedom you have to invest in what you want.

Instead of regular investments, people with self-directed IRAs invest in stocks, bonds, and mutual funds. Buying those assets is only a good idea if you know what to do with them.

If you want to open a Self-Directed IRA to get higher rewards and more benefits on your after-tax dollars, you should hire a financial expert to help you. That may cost you more money today but will pay off in the future.

You need to find a custodian that specializes or works with less common investments to approve your financial moves.


SARSEP is a type of Simplified Employee Pension retirement plan that lets you save money for your retirement, similar to what happens with Traditional IRAs.

However, you should know SARSEP accounts work differently from others because, unlike others, your earned income comes from a pay reduction agreement between employees and employers.

Employers can choose to make contributions to the account as long as it doesn’t exceed the annual contribution limits.

Unlike other retirement plans or accounts on the list, SARSEP plans will work with businesses of all sizes, so you don’t have to worry about your company being too big or small to invest in it.

Profit Sharing Plan

The Profit Sharing Plan is the first retirement plan on this list that is not an IRA. This retirement plan is perfect for people working for big companies that make money yearly.

You should also get it if you have a good salary, as it will help you get a great fixed income when you retire too.

This plan consists of the company you work for giving you a part of its total profits as retirement money. The more money your former business makes when you retire, the more you will get.

Based on that, even if you worked for a small company with low profits, you will get a lot of money if the business grows or starts making more money.

The share you get of the company’s profits depends on your quarterly or yearly earnings.

It’s no use to try a Profit Sharing Plan if you work for a startup or a small business. While some companies may give you way more money than the one you need, others might not be enough to make a living.

Money Purchase Plan

Trying a Money Purchase Plan is similar to a Profit Sharing one, as both work under the same terms, which is making the company pay employees a part of profits.

However, this plan is better for investors who want to feel more confident and safer in a retirement plan.

While Profit Sharing plans give you money depending on the profits of the company at that moment, a Money Purchase determines a fixed income.

That means you will receive the money you are told you will get regardless of the financial situation of the company at that moment. The downside of it is that the same will happen if the company increases its sales.

Even if it gets more money, the fixed income doesn’t change.

That gives you an advantage over other companies or people with Traditional or Roth IRAs since you don’t have to worry about your former employer’s financial situation when you retire.

When you invest in a Traditional IRA, for example, you know you may get tax-deductible income in the future, but the truth is everything depends on you manage your investments.

Keogh Plan

The Keogh Plan is not as popular as Traditional and Roth IRAs, but you can benefit from it. In a nutshell, it works under a tax-defer system, and all its contributions need to come from net earnings that come from self-employed sources and not regular ones.

Not many investors pick this option over a Traditional IRA or a Roth IRA, as it has a higher upkeep cost and flows with more administrative burdens than others.

It has a reasonable contribution limit but also higher taxes when you retire. That means you will pay more income tax when you withdraw your funds.

Investing in Gold Through an Annuity

Annuities come from insurance companies that want to make sure their clients get as much money as they need when they retire. These annuities are tax-advantage assets you can use as investment vehicles for your portfolio.

The main appeal of annuities is that they don’t have a contributions limit, so you can get all the donations or contributions you want with no problem.

Apart from physical gold, you can also invest in paper gold and ETFs.

Investing in Gold Through a Solo 401k

The 401K retirement plan is one of the most popular retirement plans you can find online. Unlike a Roth IRA or a Traditional IRA, here you don’t have control over the amount of money you will get when you retire.

Regardless of that, you will always know exactly how much money from your paycheck will go to your retirement savings, so you will how much money you get as you get paid.

Investing in gold through a solo 401k brings you all the benefits of investing in gold while showing the ways you have to profit from it and how much money you would get from it.

We recommend you invest in gold and other precious metals if you get the chance.

Roth IRA

Opening a Roth IRA is one of the best ways you have of getting tax benefits on your earnings. You have to pay a fee when you send money to Roth IRAs but also have free withdrawals in return.

Not having to pay that fee when you withdraw your money allows you to truly enjoy everything in your Roth IRA, so you don’t have to share your money with anyone.

Regardless of that, Roth IRA account holders need to follow several rules before withdrawing their money. The first of them is that they have to have owned their account for at least five years. Apart from that, the account holder of a Roth IRA needs to be 59 1/2 years or older.

Your earned income from contributions is not tax-deductible, as it’s made with after-dollars. That’s different from Traditional IRA contributions that do the opposite.

We recommend you invest in a Roth IRA over a Traditional IRA if you want a tax-deferred-based system that helps you save money for the future.

Employee Stock Ownership Plan ESOP

Using an ESOP plan to get money for retirement is one of the most complex ways to save money for the future, as it involves owning a part of the company you work for. Unless there’s a public market for the shares, you will get a part of yours as income from the trust.

457b Plan

Although the 457 plan is on the list, you should know not everyone qualifies for it, as it would happen with a Roth IRA or a Traditional IRA.

This plan is for government-related employees and anyone working for a private school. It consists of sending a part of your paycheck to your retirement account and saving more money the more you work.

403b Plan

The 403b plan is almost the same as the 401K, so many people compare them often. What makes them different? The people who can qualify for each plan.

When talking about the 403b plan, it’s made for workers of public schools and specific charities. This plan allows you to send tax-deferred money to your retirement account,

401k Plan

Although we already mentioned the possibility to invest in gold and silver with a 401K account, we also wanted to mention you can get excellent benefits if you save regular money or other assets or plans, such as a Roth IRA, with it.

Since it’s a retirement plan, it comes from your employer, so you don’t have that much freedom to send money to the account yourself.

Bottom Line

The best thing about opening a Roth IRA or starting other types of IRAs is all of them have one thing as a priority: helping you save money for retirement.

All the options on this list can help you in different ways. A Roth IRA won’t give you the same benefits as a ‘Traditional’ one, so you have to study your financial situation and hire an expert to advise you.

If you want to learn more about what each of these retirement plans do, you can visit our website.