Traditional Self-Directed IRAs


Key Benefit: Grow your retirement account over time tax-deferred, while also possibly qualifying for yearly tax-deductions. While the money is taxed when withdrawn, often owners are in a lower tax bracket at that point in their life.
 
Overview: The Traditional IRA allows you to invest with pre-tax contributions that can compound over time in a tax-deferred environment. Plus, owners may qualify for tax-deductions in addition to yearly contributions.
 
Anyone who is under the age of 70½ and has compensation* is eligible to make a contribution to a Traditional IRA.
 
The owner can begin withdrawing from the account at age 59½ (withdrawals before this are subject to penalty and taxes) and is required to take a distribution each year beginning in January after attaining the age of 70½ (you also cannot make any contributions after this age as well). For more information see IRA Withdrawal Rules.
 

Traditional IRA Eligibility

You can set up and make contributions to a Traditional IRA if you meet BOTH of these requirements:
  • You (or, if you file a joint return, your spouse) received taxable compensation* during the year
  • You were not age 70½ by the end of the year
If both spouses have compensation - If both you and your spouse have compensation and are under age 70½, each of you can set up an IRA. You cannot both participate in the same IRA.
 
* Compensation is defined as the wages, salaries, commissions, bonus, alimony and any other amount that you receive for providing personal services. For individuals who are self-employed, sole proprietors and partners in a partnership, "earned income" is another term for compensation. Passive income such as interest, dividends and most rental income are not considered compensation for the purpose of funding an IRA.