Individual retirement accounts, known as IRAs, are popular tax-advantaged vehicles for saving for retirement. Although there are actually 11 different types of IRAs, the most common are the traditional IRA and the Roth IRA.
The most well-known difference between the traditional and Roth IRA is the nature of the tax advantage. In general, the contributions to a traditional IRA are deductible from the investor’s taxable income in the year of the contribution. Tax on the contributions and their earnings is then deferred until funds are withdrawn from the IRA. In contrast, contributions to a Roth IRA are not deductible, but the contributions grow tax-free and are tax-exempt when withdrawn.