Remember Uncle Roth’s command: think about tax benefits before deciding on a Roth IRA. With the Roth IRA, I don’t get the tax breaks when I make a deposit to the retirement account; I can’t take deduct the contributions at the time I make them. But I don’t have to pay taxes when I withdraw the money later on.
What are the other conditions and benefits of retiring with Uncle Roth?
- Usually the Roth IRA must be 5 human years old, and I must be 59 ½ human years before I can remove earnings tax- and penalty-free.
- But if I face certain emergencies (like needing surgery for a torn paw after I broke free of my leash to gallivant around town), I can withdraw my contributions at any time without penalty or taxes.
- Although I already have a fine and cozy doghouse, if I didn’t already own one, I could withdraw up to $10,000 for a first-home purchase.
- I can avoid the 10% penalty for higher-education costs, so perhaps I should investigate BARK (“Bastion of Advanced Reconnaissance K-nines”) soon. Imagine me with several degrees hanging in grained (and aromatic) leather frames around my doghouse.
- I don’t have to withdraw funds at any time. If I enjoyed the prospect of a large family, this would mean that my puppy-heirs would pay no income taxes on the inherited Roth IRA funds, although they would be required to take distributions during their lives. (Unfortunately The Boss has made sure I will never have heirs. I’ve listed her as Beneficiary to all my assets.)
- I can contribute to the Roth IRA well into my retirement if I choose.
- I can contribute to the previous year’s Roth IRA until the deadline for filing my income tax return in April of the following year. For instance, I can contribute to 2012’s Roth IRA until April 15, 2013.
My inclination is to procrastinate in making a decision about the Roth IRA (yes, I’d rather go gnaw on a fresh stew bone, or dig up a suspicious-looking lump out of The Boss’s garden, than be serious about my future). But because I like creature comforts and because I know I’ll need some in my retirement years, I’ve scheduled a meeting with The Boss to discuss the pros and cons of the Roth IRA. I’ll update you next time about the results.