List of Top IRA Retirement Plans

Plan for your retirement with the right IRA.

If you are looking to invest in your retirement, IRAs are a popular choice. They have multiple tax benefits and the interest rates of IRAs are generally higher than those of traditional savings accounts or CDs; they are also generally less risky than investments in the stock market. You can choose to open an IRA with a local or online brokerage, or with a bank.

Types of IRAs

There are two main types of IRA accounts: Traditional and Roth. You can make contributions into your IRA until the age 70 1/2 with a traditional IRA, but with a Roth IRA, you can contribute to the IRA for as long as you like. As far as taxes go, Roth IRAs are tax-free upon your retirement, whereas you are taxed on your withdrawals from a traditional IRA after the age 59 1/2. Most experts agree that for tax purposes, this makes the Roth IRA more appealing.

Top-Rated Roth IRAs

According to the Wall Street Journal’s website SmartMoney.com, a Roth IRA is the best retirement plan to go with in most cases. InvestorTrip.com offers a list of its top-rated Roth IRA accounts as of June 2010:

  1. TradeKing’s Roth IRA is rated number one because of its “Great customer service, fast trade execution, retirement education, active investing community and top level security.” http://www.tradeking.com

  2. Scottrade’s Roth IRA is rated number two because of its “Great registration process, low $7 commissions, $0 inactivity fees, $0 IRA fees, low bond commissions and good customer service. http://www.scottrade.com

  3. ETrade’s Roth IRA is rated third because of its “Excellent financial charts, powerful trading engine, easy to use training interface, reasonable commission, $0 maintenance fees.” http://www.etrade.com

Top-Rated Traditional IRAs

According to Brokerage-Review.com, the following brokerage firms offer the best traditional IRAs as of June 2010:

  1. OptionsXpress’ traditional IRAs are rated number one because of its “Trade experience, usability, ranges of offerings, research and educational resources and customer service.” There is a $0 minimum to open a traditional IRA with OptionsXpress. http://www.optionsxpress.com/

  2. Scottrade’s traditional IRAs are rated number two because their “IRAs are free; there is no IRA setup and annual IRA fees. The firm is consistently rated at the top in customer service and investor satisfaction.” There is a $500 minimum to open a traditional IRA with Scottrade. http://www.scottrade.com

  3. Zecco’s traditional IRAs are rated number three because they “offer one of the best values on IRA accounts…if you have a $25,000 account balance and trade stocks 1 to 15 times a month.” So if you have a larger amount to invest, Zecco is a good option. http://www.zecco.com

Top-Rated Bank IRAs, Traditional or Roth

According to BankRate.com, the following banks offered the highest yields on their investment plans and were rated as four-star banks or better as of June 2010:

  1. USAA Federal Savings Bank 10750 McDermott FWY San Antonio, Texas 78288-0544 (210) 456-8000 www.usaa.com

  2. Nationwide Bank One Nationwide Plaza Columbus, Ohio 43215-2220 (877) 422-6569 www.nationwide.com/online-banking.jsp

  3. Bank of Internet USA P.O. Box 919008 San Diego, California 92191-9872 (877) 541-BOFI (2634) www.bankofinternet.com/

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