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Roth IRAs Three Huge Benefits Thumbnail

Roth IRAs Three Huge Benefits

If I could only contribute to one retirement account for the rest of my working career, it would be a Roth IRA or Roth 401k. Although there are many benefits to a Roth IRA, there are three benefits that I find to be most intriguing. On top of the benefits I lay out below, you will be pleased to hear that in recent years employers have made the Roth 401k more accessible and the contribution limit on Roth IRAs has increased!


Taxes now or taxes later. That sentence encompasses the main difference between Roth and Traditional retirement accounts. With Traditional retirement accounts, the participant will receive a tax deduction upon making a contribution and then will be taxed when they withdraw funds, typically during retirement. A Roth IRA contribution provides NO tax deduction. However, when you withdraw funds from a Roth IRA, typically your contributions and investment earnings are tax free! Essentially, if an investor makes a $6,000 contribution to a Roth IRA and, over a 30 year period, it grows to $60,000, the investor has experienced a tax free gain of $54,000. Having worked with many retirees who were diligent about saving, I can tell you that having a pile of tax free assets in retirement is a HUGE benefit! Unfortunately, many people who save money simply contribute to a traditional 401k or IRA and although saving is great in many respects, you are building a future tax obligation.


With Congress passing the SECURE ACT in 2019 and the SECURE ACT 2.0 in 2022 there are many changes impacting retirees, one of which is the required minimum distribution(RMD). The SECURE ACT moved the RMD age from 70.5 to 72 in 2020. Since then, the SECURE ACT 2.0 has pushed the age back again to age 73 in 2023 and age 75 by 2033.  A huge benefit of Roth IRAs is that they avoid this mandatory withdrawal. Use your Roth IRA assets when you want (not when the government requires it). Of course, when you do use your Roth assets, they are tax free! If you are subject to the RMD requirements, make sure you know the rules very well, as the penalty for not taking a RMD can be quite high.


Life insurance and Roth IRAs are arguably the two most effective tools for transferring wealth from one generation to the next. Roth IRAs transfer tax free to your heirs, and as long as beneficiaries are properly stated, they can avoid probate court. Since Roth IRAs are tax free and are inherited with very limited hurdles, they can provide a source of liquidity to cover final expenses. Additionally, once a Roth IRA is inherited by a non-spouse, that beneficiary can let it accumulate tax free for 10 years. This will allow for further tax free gains and ultimately make the inheritance left behind that much greater.

At this point, you might have some questions such as:

  1. What is the maximum I can contribute to a Roth IRA?
        •   You can contribute $6,500 a year plus an additional $1,000 for those who are age 50 or over.
  2. What is the maximum I can contribute to a Roth 401(k)
        •   The 2023 max Roth 401(k) contribution is $22,500 plus an additional $7,500 for those who are age 50 or over. This makes for a potential total contribution amount of $30,000.

There is an income threshold for contributing directly to a Roth IRA. The income threshold varies depending on your marriage status and phases in as your income goes up. However, in 2010, the income threshold was removed for converting a Traditional IRA to a Roth IRA. This means even if you make too much to contribute to a Roth IRA, you could still contribute to a Traditional IRA then convert it to a Roth IRA. This strategy is known as the backdoor Roth IRA. Despite this strategy, Roth IRAs are still underutilized by investors and financial advisors despite the obvious benefits. 

Written by Brice Carter

This commentary on this website reflects the personal opinions, viewpoints and analyses of the Financial Strategies Group, Inc employees providing such comments, and should not be regarded as a description of advisory services provided by Financial Strategies Group, Inc or performance returns of any Financial Strategies Group, Inc Investments client. The views reflected in the commentary are subject to change at any time without notice. Nothing on this website constitutes investment advice, performance data or any recommendation that any particular security, portfolio of securities, transaction or investment strategy is suitable for any specific person. Any mention of a particular security and related performance data is not a recommendation to buy or sell that security. Financial Strategies Group, Inc manages its clients’ accounts using a variety of investment techniques and strategies, which are not necessarily discussed in the commentary. Investments in securities involve the risk of loss. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

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