10 commandments of retirement planning

V. You shall use tax-favored retirement accounts
6 of 12
V. You shall use tax-favored retirement accounts

The government encourages saving for retirement with special accounts that give you tax breaks.

Funds can be invested before taxes for investors who expect to pay a lower income tax in the future. Or money can be invested after taxes, as with a Roth account, where contributions and earnings can be taken out tax-free during retirement.

Investors can open an individual retirement account, or traditional IRA, or the Roth version. These accounts allow contributions of up to $5,000 per year.

Some employers also offer retirement plans. There are several types of employer-sponsored plans, but the most common is the 401(k) plan. It allows workers to save up to $16,500 per year.

Some companies don't offer retirement plans. Workers do have other options.

"There are non-employer-sponsored retirement accounts, such as municipal bonds, Roth IRAs and annuities -- both variable and fixed," says Reilly.

A trusted financial adviser can tell you if a cash-value insurance policy would make sense for your situation. If you've maxed out all of your retirement-saving options, it may be a possibility.




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