Do you have an Individual Retirement Account?
A listener recently asked if an IRA is considered a savings plan or an investment. My answer depends on what you do with the money. You can put IRA funds to work in the stock market through mutual funds and other investments, or in CDs and savings accounts. An IRA account has certain tax features. Educate yourself on proper withdrawals in order to avoid penalties and taxes. It’s tempting to cash out an IRA when facing a financial crisis, but that may not be the best option. If you’re over 59 ½ you can begin withdrawing without penalties. Just remember, you have to pay income tax on money taken from a traditional IRA. Withdrawals from Roth IRAs are not taxed because contributions were made with after-tax dollars.
IRAs have required minimum distributions – or ‘RMD’s. Roth IRAs have no RMDs until after the death of the owner. You can roll over a traditional IRA asset into a Roth. You’ll pay taxes the year you do it, but then the money grows tax-free. That’s something to seriously consider if you think taxes will increase in the years ahead. No taxes are required on qualified charitable distributions from an IRA up to $100,000. Now Crown and this radio station welcome those charitable gifts! Godly stewards must manage their savings and investments wisely. Please do your research and seek wise counsel.
If you’re tempted to use your IRA to pay off credit card debt, I recommend Christian Credit Counselors. They’ll create a debt management plan that will work for you. For more information call the Crown Helpline: 800-722-1976 or visit online at crown.org/ccc.