Retiring with a Roth IRA

by | Jan 20, 2017 | Toby Talks Tax | 0 comments

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.


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