Author Topic: Is Traditional IRA worth it for my situation?  (Read 1824 times)

Runge

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 219
  • Location: TX
Is Traditional IRA worth it for my situation?
« on: February 10, 2015, 05:26:11 PM »
So, I've been contemplating opening up a traditional IRA and contributing to that instead of my Roth. Here's the rough low-down.

My MAGI for 2014 was 73,001, and I'm single. I currently am enrolled in my employer's SIMPLE IRA plan, and I expect my MAGI to be roughly the same next year. Taking into consideration the phase-out limits on deducting Trad IRA contributions from taxes, it looks like I won't be able to deduct any Trad IRA contributions because my MAGI is above the 61,000-71,000 phase-out range. I don't see a way to be able to reduce my MAGI any more this coming year.

Since I can't get the tax deduction, is it worth it for me to contribute to a Trad IRA? Basically, my thought process is that since I can't get a deduction for it, then I'm effectively contributing after-tax money to it. Since Trad IRA's are pre-tax, my money would then be taxable once I take it out, all of it... Am I correct, or am I missing something?

MDM

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 9244
Re: Is Traditional IRA worth it for my situation?
« Reply #1 on: February 10, 2015, 05:41:08 PM »
You are correct that in this situation, Roth is better.

seattlecyclone

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4728
  • Age: 34
  • Location: Seattle, WA
Re: Is Traditional IRA worth it for my situation?
« Reply #2 on: February 10, 2015, 06:01:48 PM »
Since Trad IRA's are pre-tax, my money would then be taxable once I take it out, all of it... Am I correct, or am I missing something?

Only the gains would be taxable if made after-tax contributions to the traditional IRA. This is the strategy that is used for the "backdoor Roth IRA" (some people earn too much money to contribute to a Roth IRA, but there's no income restriction on non-deductible traditional IRA contributions or on immediately rolling these contributions over to a Roth account). But if your income is low enough that you can contribute to a Roth IRA directly, it's much less complicated to just do that.

Runge

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 219
  • Location: TX
Re: Is Traditional IRA worth it for my situation?
« Reply #3 on: February 10, 2015, 07:46:37 PM »
Well that's a bummer...

Thanks.

MDM

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 9244
Re: Is Traditional IRA worth it for my situation?
« Reply #4 on: February 10, 2015, 09:28:45 PM »
Well that's a bummer...
2014 is in the books and can't be undone. 

For 2015, are you contributing the maximum possible ($12,500) to the SIMPLE?  Might your employer be persuaded to offer a 401k so you could contribute $18,000 instead?

Runge

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 219
  • Location: TX
Re: Is Traditional IRA worth it for my situation?
« Reply #5 on: February 11, 2015, 12:33:40 PM »
I'll be contributing 10k this year, but even if I did contribute 12.5, it still won't be worth contributing to trad. I can ask about 401k options,  but that would probably be at least a year or two away. No HSA either. If I had an HSA and maxed out the simple IRA, I could probably swing it, but I'd have to wait until the end of the year to see how any raise or bonuses turn out.