Where Should I Put My IRA Money Now?

IRAs allow for tax-deferred growth, meaning returns can be reinvested without being taxed. However, you will eventually need to start taking required minimum distributions (RMD).

Your IRA investments depend on your financial goals, length of time until retirement and risk tolerance. One option might be a target-date fund which automatically adjusts itself as your retirement date approaches and becomes more conservative as time progresses.

Asset Allocation

At its core, investing is all about finding an asset allocation that suits you: how much to put in stocks versus bonds and when. Your allocation should take into account your time horizon, risk tolerance and current financial status.

Most individuals will benefit most from investing their IRA in stock funds, which have the potential to grow more over time than bond funds.

Financial advisors frequently recommend allocating investments across accounts based on how they’ll be taxed, with actively managed mutual funds that produce high levels of taxable capital gains distributions faring better in an IRA than passively managed index funds.

Most IRA providers provide a broad selection of investment options. You may opt for broadly diversified target-date funds managed professionally with automatic rebalance capabilities, like those from Vanguard. While these popular funds may also be found in 401(k) plans, low-cost versions may also be found through other brokers.

Mutual Funds

IRA investors have the ability to select mutual funds that suit them, with many options available to them. Passively managed index funds that tend to generate few taxable capital gains distributions can be ideal investments for an IRA, while target date or asset allocation funds offer convenient management services that handle selection, monitoring and rebalancing based on anticipated retirement dates.

Nearly every financial institution provides Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs), and many offer competitive IRA plans. Vanguard is famous for their low-cost funds that require no management fee for IRA accounts; additionally, there is no commission charged when trading stocks and ETFs online with Vanguard.

Schwab has long been known for being investor-friendly. Their Schwab Intelligent Portfolios robo-advisor manages personalized portfolios without charging management fees on traditional IRAs (but does charge a flat $30 monthly premium service fee). Furthermore, this account supports Roth, SIMPLE IRAs, SEP IRAs, and even inherited IRAs.

Target-Date Funds

No matter if you invest directly or through a brokerage firm, investing your IRA contributions with low fees is possible. NerdWallet’s ratings of online brokers and robo-advisors will help you choose the optimal solution for your investment goals.

Target-date funds are an appealing investment option. These funds are named for an event such as retirement and their portfolio mix gradually moves away from riskier to safer assets as you near it.

Target-date funds provide savers with an efficient investment solution, offering one-stop shopping. However, even the best target-date funds cannot completely reduce retirement risk as stocks still exhibit fluctuation while fixed income like bonds tend to have less volatility. Furthermore, inflation risks could become an issue as many target-date funds also hold “real assets” such as Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities and real estate assets in their portfolios.


IRAs offer many tax advantages for investors without access to a workplace retirement account such as a 401(k), such as compounding the effects of investment returns over time.

Traditional IRAs allow you to deduct contributions from your taxes up to certain annual limits. For those self-employed or working for small businesses, SEP or SIMPLE IRAs offer higher contribution limits.

Once you reach age 73, traditional IRA owners must begin taking required minimum distributions (RMDs) unless their balance has been converted to a Roth IRA or transferred elsewhere.

The best IRAs typically boast low fees, intuitive apps and a wealth of investment choices; finding one suitable to you depends on your financial goals, timeline for retirement and risk tolerance. NerdWallet’s ratings of IRA providers take account of account fees/minimums/investment options/perks/advice programs etc.

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