The Beauty of the Roth IRA
To put that in perspective, imagine taking withdrawals at a 5% rate ($70,000) annually starting at age 65. If this were taxable as income, a person might expect to pay taxes in the 20%* range, which would be $14,000, leaving $56,000 to live on. In other words, in a 20% tax bracket, a person would have to withdraw $87,500 in order to have $70,000 to live on. That's the power of the Roth IRA.
That's not it, in addition, there is also the flexibility of not taking a withdrawal if it isn't needed. A person does not have this same flexibility with other retirement plans. With other retirement plans, the IRS insists that a person must take withdrawals beginning the year after the year in which they turn 70 1/2. The Roth IRA is MUCH less confusing.
I haven't discussed all the intricacies of Roth IRAs. In a future article, I'll talk more in detail about the Roth IRA and how it compares to other retirement plans. In the meantime, for those interested, they may want to read "The Retirement Time Bomb and How to Defuse it" by Ed Slott. It is an excellent resource for understanding IRAs and other retirement savings vehicles. Mr. Slott also has a website called IRAhelp.com.
*I used the 20% tax bracket for easy math. Individual brackets may vary from the one I listed.