There are important differences between a Traditional IRA and a Roth IRA. You may want to choose one over the other, or go with both. Tax-related decisions may impact your IRA choice as well.

An individual retirement account (IRA) can be a great way to save for your future. But how do you know which type is right for you? Traditional IRAs and Roth IRAs allow you to contribute up to $6,000 a year, plus an additional $1,000 catch-up contribution each year if you’re older than 50. The key difference is whether you’d prefer to pay taxes on your savings today or in the future.

With Roth accounts, you won’t receive any tax deductions today but can take withdrawals in retirement without paying taxes.1 You may benefit from a Roth IRA if you’re young, currently in a lower tax bracket or have most of your investments in traditional IRA accounts or retirement plans.

With traditional IRAs, you may be eligible to take a tax deduction today and can delay paying taxes until later, when you begin taking withdrawals. This option might make sense if you’re in a higher tax bracket today than you expect to be in retirement.

Traditional vs. Roth comparison





Tax Rates




Tax Deductions





Roth IRA

Not tax-deductible

Tax-free when withdrawn1


Expected to be higher in retirement than today (or at the time of contribution)


No tax deduction today, but prospect of tax-free income in retirement


Must be earning income and meet the Modified Adjusted Gross Income (MAGI) requirement3

Traditional IRA

May be tax-deductible

Taxed as ordinary income2


Expected to be lower in retirement than today (or at the time of contribution)


Immediate tax savings of a deduction or pretax contribution for those in a high tax bracket today

Must be earning income and meet the MAGI requirement for tax deduction3

How we can help

Talk to your Edward Jones financial advisor today to discuss which type of IRA may be right for you. 

Important Information:

1Earnings distributions from a Roth IRA may be subject to taxes and a 10% penalty if the account is less than five years old and the owner is under age 59½.

2Your traditional IRA contribution may be deductible depending upon your participation in an employer-sponsored retirement plan, and your tax-filing status. If you and your spouse (if married) are not covered by a plan, you can deduct the contribution regardless of income.

3Less than $137,000 for individuals, less than $203,000 for married couples filing jointly and less than $10,000 for married couples filing separately.