Q:

How do you open an IRA?

A:

Quick Answer

To open an IRA, research financial institutions, and select one with an acceptable fee structure and IRA program. Choose your ideal IRA type, such as a traditional IRA or Roth IRA. Open an account, make your first contribution, and then select an investment route.

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Full Answer

  1. Research financial institutions

    Most large banks and credit unions offer traditional or Roth IRA accounts. Compare the fee structures, minimum contribution limits, investment options and overall reputation of each institution, and then choose an institution that meets your investment goals.

  2. Choose an IRA account type

    Choose your IRA account type based on contribution limits, withdrawal policies and your age and income. Traditional and Roth IRA accounts offer different investment structures and regulations, such as taxable contributions and withdrawals, income-based contribution limits and age-based limits.

  3. Open an account

    To open an IRA account, complete an application with your contact information, income status and bank account information. Be prepared to supply documentation, such as payroll receipts and proof of a checking and savings account.

  4. Fund your account

    Make your first contribution based on IRA account requirements. Minimum initial contributions differ according to the account type and institution.

  5. Select an investment option

    After opening an IRA account, research the available investment options. Your financial institution may determine the investment types available, such as certificates of deposit, mutual funds, stocks and bonds.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    When can I make a withdrawal from my IRA?

    A:

    Withdrawals from an IRA can be made at any time, but individuals under the age of 59 1/2 incur a 10 percent early withdrawal penalty, according to CNN Money. Individuals over the age of 59 1/2 can withdraw from an IRA without penalty but owe income tax on the funds.

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  • Q:

    How do you start a Roth IRA?

    A:

    Opening a Roth individual retirement account requires the owner to set aside money to put towards retirement savings, pick a financial institution to establish the Roth IRA account and satisfy the financial institution's new-account requirements, notes the Retire by 40 website. The owner can then choose an investment plan.

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  • Q:

    Is an IRA considered a liquid asset?

    A:

    An individual retirement account (IRA) is not commonly considered a liquid asset as there are penalties and taxes involved with converting the investment account into cash. A liquid asset is defined as something of worth that can be converted into cash quickly; bank accounts, bonds, mutual funds, stocks, exchange traded funds, certificates of deposits and cash fall into this category, as noted by the Federal Reserves.

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  • Q:

    What are inherited IRA withdrawal rules?

    A:

    When an individual inherits an IRA, he can either treat it as his own IRA or begin taking distributions from the account, states the Internal Revenue Service. If the individual takes distributions from a traditional IRA, he may claim deductions from the estate tax.

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