retirement

Roth IRA beats 401(k) in key ways

In addition, different tax rules apply if the money is withdrawn early (before age 59½) for certain reasons, such as to pay for qualified education expenses or to buy a home for the first time, or if the account holder has died or is disabled. When in doubt about the rules, work with your tax professional.

Most people in their 20s are in a lower marginal federal income tax bracket than they will be when they retire. If you expect your tax rate is lower today than it will be when you retire, contributing to a Roth IRA can make sense versus contributions to a 401(k) plan. The Bankrate article "Traditional IRA vs. Roth IRA" can help you make the right decision.

Another advantage to the Roth IRA account is that you can control where the account is held. Being able to do this lets you have some control over account fees and expenses and lets you pick a custodian that offers the types of investments you want for the account.

A lot of workers complain about the investment choices offered in their employer's 401(k) plans. You can finesse these issues by picking your custodian based on how you want the funds invested.

Get more news, money-saving tips and expert advice by signing up for a free Bankrate newsletter.

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To ask a question of Dr. Don, go to the "Ask the Experts" page and select one of these topics: "Financing a home," "Saving & Investing" or "Money." Read more Dr. Don columns for additional personal finance advice.

Bankrate's content, including the guidance of its advice-and-expert columns and this website, is intended only to assist you with financial decisions. The content is broad in scope and does not consider your personal financial situation. Bankrate recommends that you seek the advice of advisers who are fully aware of your individual circumstances before making any final decisions or implementing any financial strategy. Please remember that your use of this website is governed by Bankrate's Terms of Use.

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