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On Your Way Checklist

On your way

Already saving for retirement? Now it's time to check in on your progress.

Meet the match and max out

If you've been saving in an employer-sponsored retirement plan, then aim to take advantage of an employer match, if offered, and work to contribute the maximum amount allowed.

Consider traditional vs. Roth

Whether you’re saving in a workplace retirement plan or in an IRA, consider how different types of accounts, like traditional versus Roth, will affect your future tax picture. If you are eligible, having a mix of traditional and Roth savings can give you flexibility in retirement.

Open an IRA

If you haven't yet, and you’re earning a taxable income, then consider opening a tax-advantaged Individual Retirement Account (IRA) to up your retirement savings. You may be able to open an IRA alongside your workplace retirement plan to give your savings a boost, too. If you can, consider contributing the maximum amount allowed to your workplace plan and your IRA.

Open an account

Open a general brokerage account

Once you’ve maximized use of your tax-advantaged retirement accounts, consider investing in a general investment account to get even more of your money working for you. Note: These are taxable accounts. If you make money on your investments, then these gains or income will be taxed.

Open an account

Things to keep in mind along the way

Know how much you can save and invest by keeping a close eye on your income and expenses.

Build and maintain a cash cushion of three to six months' worth of living expenses.

Factor in any debt. In general, a good practice is to pay down any high-interest debt before investing, but you can consider investing while paying down low-interest debt.

The options to invest your way

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Online investing with You InvestSM

You Invest by J.P. Morgan is a smart, low-cost way to invest online for retirement. You have options to create and manage portfolios on your own or have J.P. Morgan designed portfolios managed for you.

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J.P. Morgan Advisor

Want the help of a dedicated advisor to develop a personalized strategy? Your J.P. Morgan advisor gets to know you, your family, and your goals, to help you design a retirement strategy.

Frequently Asked Questions

Traditional IRA

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What is a traditional IRA?
A traditional IRA is a retirement account where your contributions may be tax-deductible , but you will likely have to pay taxes when you withdraw your money.

Why a traditional IRA may be right for you?
If you think your tax rate will be lower once you reach retirement.

Who can contribute to a traditional IRA?
You can contribute if you (or your spouse, if filing jointly) have taxable compensation.

Contributions can’t be made for the year in which you reach age 701⁄2 or for any later year.

How much can I contribute to a traditional IRA?
The IRS sets contribution limits for Roth IRAs and traditional IRAs. Learn more.

Are traditional IRA contributions deductible?
Contributions may be deductible, if you qualify.

What is the deadline to make traditional IRA contributions?
The deadline is your tax return filing deadline (not including extensions), typically April 15.

Do I have to take required minimum distributions from a traditional IRA?
You must take your first RMD no later than April 1 of the year after the year in which you turn 701⁄2. Each subsequent RMD is due each year by December 31.

As a result, if you attain age 701⁄2 this year and choose to delay taking this year’s RMD into next year, you must still satisfy your RMD for next year by December 31 (i.e., you will need to take two RMDs in one year).

Are my traditional IRA distributions taxable?
Any deductible contributions and earnings you withdraw, or that are distributed from your traditional IRA, are taxable.

With a traditional IRA, are there early-withdrawal penalties?
If you are under age 591⁄2, you may have to pay an additional 10% tax for early withdrawals unless you qualify for an exception.

Roth IRA

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What is a Roth IRA?
A Roth IRA is a retirement account where you may be able to contribute after-tax dollars and you don’t have to pay federal tax on qualified distributions, if you are eligible.

Why a Roth IRA may be right for you?
If you think your tax rate will be the same or higher once you reach retirement.

Who can contribute to a Roth IRA?
You can contribute at any age if you (or your spouse, if filing jointly) have taxable compensation and your modified adjusted gross income is below certain amounts.

How much can I contribute to a Roth IRA?

The IRS sets contribution limits for Roth IRAs and traditional IRAs. Learn more.

Are Roth IRA contributions deductible?
Contributions aren’t deductible.

What is the deadline to make Roth IRA contributions?
The deadline is your tax return filing deadline (not including extensions), typically April 15.

Do I have to take required minimum distributions from a Roth IRA?
Not if you are the original owner.

Are my Roth IRA distributions taxable?
Not if it’s a qualified distribution. Otherwise, part of the distribution or withdrawal may be taxable.

With a Roth IRA, are there early-withdrawal penalties?
If you are under age 591⁄2, you may have to pay an additional 10% tax for early withdrawals unless you qualify for an exception.

Brokerage

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What is a brokerage account?
A brokerage account is a taxable account used to buy investments like stocks, bonds and mutual funds.

Why may a brokerage account be right for you?

If you want the flexibility to withdraw your money at any time without early-withdrawal penalties (but without the tax benefits of an IRA).

Who can contribute to a brokerage account?
You can contribute regardless of age and income.

How much can I contribute to a brokerage account?
There are no limits to how much you can contribute.

Are brokerage account contributions deductible?
No.

What is the deadline to make brokerage account contributions?

There are no deadlines.

Do I have to take required minimum distributions from a brokerage account?
No.

Are my brokerage account distributions taxable?
No, you don’t pay taxes when you withdraw your money. But, you pay taxes on gains when you sell, as well as on any interest and dividends that you receive.

With a brokerage account, are there early-withdrawal penalties?
No.