Oct 26, 2022

A 401k or A Roth 401k? Which Is Better?

A Roth 401k 0r a traditional 401k? Which is best for you? More in this blog.

Should You Prioritize a 401k or a Roth 401k?

Which Is Better? A 401k Or A Roth 401k?

401k vs. ROTH 401k: Which One is Better?

So, a 401K and a Roth 401K are very different from each other but let's start with what's similar.

Similarities: Both accounts are sponsored by an employer, which means that you can't have a 401(k) unless it's through your job.

The difference: How they are taxed or treated from a tax point of view is one of the biggest differences between the two.

Traditional 401Ks

Traditional 401(k) plans are pre-tax, which means that any contributions you make lower your annual taxable income. On paper, your taxable income will only be $80,000 if you earn $100,000 and contribute $20,000 to your 401(k). The 401(k) contribution is deducted from your taxable income. Compound interest allows the money you invest in a 401(k) to increase yearly until you retire. However, when you start taking withdrawals from your 401(k) plan once you reach retirement age, that money will be taxed.

The Roth 401K and the traditional 401K have the following key differences:

With a traditional 401K, you have to take what's called a "minimum distribution," which is set to 72 years old at the moment (previously 70 and a half.) When you turn 72, the IRS will require you to start taking money out of your 401(k), whether you want to or not. Because of this, you will lose control of your taxes in the long run.

A Roth 401K, however, is the exact opposite

With a Roth 401K, you put money in after taxes, which means you've already paid taxes on it. You don't get a tax break today, which is a bummer, but the money goes into an account where it grows each year until it's time to retire. Then, if you meet a couple of limits, you won't have to pay taxes on that money ever again. So it's all pretty much tax-free. When you retire, you won't have to worry about taxes on that money anymore.

Financial experts

Traditional 401(k)s are generally seen as the best option to save on taxes by financial professionals, but in our opinion, the majority of consumers are better off with a Roth 401. (k). A Roth 401K will enable you to save more money over the course of your life and career than a conventional 401K. You receive a tax break immediately when you contribute to a standard 401(k), but not so with a Roth.

However, the majority of people will choose a Roth 401K since it will save them more money in taxes, nearly regardless of how you do the calculations.

Below is a more detailed explanation of the 401K, Roth 401K, and Roth IRA. If you have more questions be sure to reach out!

What Is a 401K Plan and How Does it Work?

A 401K is a retirement savings and investment plan that employers can join. When employees put money into a 401K plan, they get a tax break. Automatic deductions are made from workers' paychecks and put into funds they choose (from a list of available offerings). In 2022, the yearly contribution cap for 401Ks is $20,500 ($27,000 for individuals over 50). Employees contribute by designating automatic withdrawals from their paychecks. The tax benefit may be received when you make contributions or when you withdraw money in retirement, depending on the type of plan you have.

How will it help you?

There are a lot of companies that will match some of the money you give. One of the best things about a 401k is this. If your company will match what you give, stop reading this and go sign up right now. Most companies will match your donation dollar for dollar or 50 cents on the dollar up to, say, 6% of what you give. Put at least enough money in your account to qualify for the free money.

Use this 401K calculator to show how your savings will increase over time with a 401K and the impact that little adjustments, such as any company matches, will have over time. In addition to helping you save more money, making contributions to a traditional 401K also lowers your taxable income for the year.

Suppose you earn $65,000 annually and contribute $19,500 to your 401(k) plan. Of the $65,000 you made, you will only be required to pay income taxes on $45,500 rather than the entire sum. In other words, by setting aside money for the future, you can avoid paying taxes on $19,500. As soon as you deposit money into your 401(k), it is exempt from taxes. Both standard and Roth 401Ks are appropriate in this situation. As long as the funds are still in the account, you are not required to pay taxes on interest, dividends, or investment gains.

How Do Roth 401Ks Work?

A Roth 401K is a retirement savings account set up by an employer that is paid for with money that has already been taxed. This means that the employee must pay income tax right away on the money that is taken out of each paycheck and put into the account. When you retire, you can take money out of the account without being taxed. This type of plan is different from the traditional 401K plan, which is paid for with money that has already been taxed.

Their many tax benefits include:

  • In addition to providing a means of retirement savings, this plan lowers the employee's yearly gross income. On each withdrawal made during retirement, the employee will be required to pay normal income tax.
  • The amount designated for savings is deducted from the employee's real net income since the Roth 401K requires that the income tax be paid right away. On withdrawals of either the contributions or the profits made throughout the years, however, no more taxes will be due.
  • Contribution caps for Roth 401Ks are determined by an individual's age. The Internal Revenue Service announces these ceilings and updates them each year to account for inflation (IRS). Individuals are allowed to contribute a maximum of $19,500 in 2021 and $20,500 in 2022. People 50 and older are eligible to make a catch-up contribution of an extra $6,500. There is no upper income cap, in contrast to other programs.

A Roth IRA: What Is It?

AKA Pay Now, Withdraw Tax-Free Later

Individual retirement arrangements, also known as Roth IRAs, are a type of retirement savings account that allows you to grow your money tax-free. It is funded with after-tax dollars, which means you pay income taxes on the money before contributing it. There are no required minimum distributions (RMDs), so you can continue adding to your Roth IRA balance as long as you're earning income.

Who’s Eligible for a Roth IRA?

Anyone with earned income can contribute to a Roth IRA as long as they meet certain filing criteria and have a modified adjusted gross income of less than $100,000. (MAGI). Those whose annual income exceeds a specific threshold, which the IRS modifies on a regular basis, are no longer eligible to contribute. The data for 2021 and 2022 is shown in the graph below.

Several things can be used to finance a Roth IRA:

  • Consistent contributions
  • Contributions to a spouse's IRA
  • Transfers
  • Contributions that rollover

Get started with a Roth IRA today.

Regular Roth IRA contributions cannot be made in the form of securities or other property; they must all be made in cash (including cheques and money orders). The amount that may be put each year into any type of IRA is restricted by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), with periodic adjustments. Both regular and Roth IRAs are subject to the same contribution caps. Even if you have multiple accounts, you cannot contribute more than the maximum since these limits apply to all of your IRAs.

What Benefits Come With a Roth IRA?

Roth IRAs do not have employer matching contributions, but they do offer a wider range of investing alternatives. Roth IRAs can also be a good choice for people who think they'll be in a higher tax bracket in their later years. You can take your contributions from a Roth IRA tax and penalty-free, but not your earnings.  In the end, you have control over your Roth IRA investments by opening an account with a brokerage, bank, or other suitable financial institution.

Do you have a tax question? Reach out to Vincere Tax today!

Vincere Tax has the best source of information on taxes, from business tax planning articles and their tax resources provides valuable insights into how you can reduce your tax liability now, and in the future.

So, which is better?

The important considerations here are how you wish to deposit money into the account and withdraw money. It may be wise to choose a Roth 401(k) if you prefer to pay your taxes now and be done with them or if you believe your tax rate will be greater in retirement than it is now. Even while your own taxable income may decrease, potentially putting you in a lower tax bracket, by paying taxes on that money now, you're protecting yourself from a potential increase in tax rates by the time retirement rolls around. Additionally, by choosing a Roth 401(k), you get access to a larger retirement fund because $100,000 in a standard 401(k) is $100,000 less the taxes you'll have to pay on each distribution. Because a Roth 401(k) contribution is made after taxes rather than before, it will decrease your take-home pay more than a standard 401(k) contribution. With a standard 401(k), you can achieve your primary objective of lowering your taxable income now or deferring taxes until retirement because you believe your tax rate will decrease (k).

Just bear in mind:

  • You are deferring paying taxes until a future date when your income and tax rates will both likely be unknown and possibly greater if your profession takes off and you begin earning more money.
  • You must invest the tax savings from each year's traditional 401(k) contribution if you want the after-tax value of your traditional 401(k) to be equal to the amount you could accumulate in a Roth 401(k).

So, Roth IRAs can be a good alternative for people who believe they will be in a higher tax bracket in the future since, unlike 401K or standard IRA withdrawals, the money in a Roth IRA is not subject to taxes when it is withdrawn.

Hopefully, you found this information to be beneficial! If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to the team at Vincere Wealth with any questions or if you want to get started with a Roth IRA today.


Josh Bennett, Founder

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