Types of IRA’s for Children

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There are two different types of IRAs that are suitable for children: traditional and Roth. The primary difference between traditional and Roth IRAs is when you pay taxes on the money that you contribute to the plan. With a traditional IRA, you pay taxes when you withdraw the money during retirement (at your then-applicable tax rate). A traditional IRA contains pre-tax earnings. With a Roth IRA, you pay taxes when you put the money into the account, so it contains earnings after tax.

The money grows tax free while it’s in either a traditional or Roth IRA. But the benefit of a Roth is that when the child withdraws the money many decades from now, he or she won’t have to pay income tax on it. What’s more, there are no required minimum distributions (RMDs) on the money. Of course, these rules may change in the next 40 years, but that’s where they are now.

If you claim your child as a dependent, he may be required to file an income tax return of his own if his income exceeds a certain amount set by the IRS ($6,300 for 2017). If your child earns less than this amount, she is likely in a 0% income tax bracket and she probably won’t benefit from the up-front tax deduction associated with traditional IRAs.

Because many kids don’t earn enough money to benefit from the up-front tax deduction associated with traditional IRAs, it makes sense in most cases to focus on Roth IRAs. In general, the Roth IRA is the IRA of choice for minors who have limited income and who, therefore, would not benefit from a deductible traditional IRA.

Starting an IRA for your child can be a wonderful thing. At their young age, compounding kicks into high gear due to the long time horizon. And usually they will be in a low, or even zero tax bracket so the Roth is normally the best choice.

If a child keeps [a Roth] until age 59-1/2 (under today’s rules), any withdrawal will be tax free. In retirement, he or she would likely be in a much higher bracket, so  would effectively be keeping more of his or her money.

Benefits of IRAs for Kids

A single $1,000 IRA contribution made at age 10, for example, could grow to $11,467 over 50 years, assuming a conservative 5% average annual growth rate. Contribute $50 each month, and the account might grow to $137,076 (with the initial $1,000 contribution and the same hypothetical growth rate of 5%). Or double the contribution to $100 each month and the account could reach $262,685. As children make more money and eventually become adult earners, their annual contributions are likely to be higher, and the IRA could grow correspondingly. Setting aside money each month or year for an IRA – even if the contributions are small – helps your child develop awareness and healthy financial habits.

Another benefit of IRAs is that your child may be able to tap into the account for qualified higher education expenses and up to $10,000 towards a down payment on a first home without penalty. With a Roth IRA, you can withdraw any contributions, but not the investment earnings, for any reason without tax or penalty.

Information courtesy of: Investopedia.com

Visit www.citizensmn.bank or contact Citizens Bank Minnesota at 507-354-3165 to find out more information about the great rates we offer on our IRA CD’s!  The future starts NOW!

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