How Do I Know If My IRA is Traditional?

IRAs enable investors to save pre-tax and grow tax-deferred until withdrawing them at retirement – this may be especially helpful for those anticipating lower income tax brackets during retirement.

Those unsure whether their IRA qualifies as traditional should contact the institution where it was opened and provide a recent statement for verification purposes. This should provide all the necessary details needed to make an informed decision.


Traditional IRAs have income limits and tax deductions, as well as being the only type that accepts rollover funds from an old employer’s retirement plan such as 401(k). You will have to pay taxes on these rolled over funds unless rolled directly into another pre-tax retirement account such as Roth IRA. Once you reach early 70s you’ll likely need to take minimum distributions (RMDs).

Traditional IRAs allow you to invest your after-tax dollars or make tax-deductible contributions if your income meets eligibility requirements, tax deferring any potential earnings until withdrawal at age 59 1/2; early withdrawal penalties apply if made prior. A tax calculator or certified financial planner will help determine your deductible contribution or best strategy for you.

Required minimum distributions

Under federal tax law, after reaching a certain age you are required by law to withdraw a minimum annual sum from tax-deferred retirement accounts as required minimum distributions (RMD). RMD rules apply to all qualified retirement plans including traditional IRAs. The IRS offers life expectancy tables to assist with calculating RMD.

Calculating a Required Minimum Distribution (RMD) depends on several factors, including your age and account balance at the end of last year. You then divide that balance by the expected distribution period as determined by using an IRS life expectancy table.

Your RMD may be reduced by subtracting out nondeductible contributions you made to your IRA, so keep records. Failure to take your RMD can incur stiff IRS penalties; to minimize these, work with one of Hall, Kistler’s tax professionals on optimizing a distribution plan for optimal distribution plan performance.

Beneficiary designations

Beneficiary designations (along with your will) determine who will inherit your IRA after your death and could have substantial tax repercussions, so always seek qualified professional advice when making this decision.

Beneficiaries for an Individual Retirement Account (IRA) typically include spouses and children; however, you can also designate individuals, trusts or charities as beneficiaries. Your beneficiary designations can impact how much can be taken out at once from your IRA and when withdrawals must occur.

As life events arise, such as divorce or the loss of a loved one, it’s crucial that your beneficiary designations stay up-to-date. When filling out beneficiary forms, ensure all information such as name, relationship to you and Social Security number is complete in order for financial services or insurance companies to easily verify who the intended beneficiaries are and find them quickly – also making fulfilling your wishes simpler for loved ones or friends who will be carrying them out.


Traditional Individual Retirement Accounts, or IRAs, provide investors with an avenue for protecting their investments from tax liability. You can open one with banks, brokerage firms, insurance companies, robo-advisors or any other financial institutions. Depending on what kind of investments are held within an IRA account and its type, one’s returns could vary between those found elsewhere – higher-performing investments require taking on more risk while safer assets like CDs may produce lower returns.

Fees can have a considerable effect on an IRA balance over time, particularly those associated with mutual funds or fund-style investments like ETFs. Monitoring fees closely is one way to prevent paying too much in fees and expenses; NerdWallet’s editorial team rates top providers with low fees and quality investments using its proprietary scoring formula that measures account fees/minimums/customer support/mobile app capabilities/research offerings/and research offerings as key criteria.

Raymond Banks Administrator
Raymond Banks is a published author in the commodity world. He has written extensively about gold and silver investments, and his work has been featured in some of the most respected financial journals in the industry. Raymond\\\'s expertise in the commodities market is highly sought-after, and he regularly delivers presentations on behalf of various investment firms. He is also a regular guest on financial news programmes, where he offers his expert insights into the latest commodity trends.

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