An individual retirement account (IRA) is an investment account that can help you build your retirement savings. A Roth IRA allows your money to grow tax-free, which can be extremely beneficial for retirement savings and future income taxes, if you maximize contributions each year.

Use the Roth IRA calculator below to understand your potential earnings — and tax savings — from contributing to this type of account.

When you change any value in the following form fields, newly calculated values are immediately provided for the output values. Click the view report button to see all of your results.

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Average Rate of Return on a Roth IRA

A Roth IRA is not an investment in and of itself. Rather, it’s an account in which you house your investments. With this in mind, it’s important to note that your Roth IRA does not actually generate investment returns. The investments inside of a Roth IRA generate investment returns.

Historically, you could expect a 7% to 10% rate of return on individual stocks and stock-based mutual funds. However, according to Business Insider, the S&P 500 average yearly return has increased to about 14.7% in the past 10 years. 

While 14.7% may be the long-term average, returns can vary from year to year. For conservative results, utilize an annual return projection closer to 10%. If you intend to invest your Roth IRA contributions in other instruments, such as bonds or certificates of deposit (CDs), you’ll want to use an even lower return estimate.

Keeping a Healthy Money Mindset When Saving for Retirement

Saving for retirement can be stressful, overwhelming and a little scary if you don’t have help along the way. Talking with a financial advisor can help you overcome these negative feelings, and learning how to view money differently can help you thrive before and after you retire – regardless of your circumstances.

No matter what types of assets in which you invest, don’t let a negative mindset dictate how much you set aside each month. Instead, make a retirement plan that will help you achieve your desired lifestyle and reduce some of the savings’ stress, particularly, during significant life changes. 

Planning for Retirement With a Financial Advisor

Understanding the benefits of different retirement accounts can help you determine which is the best option for you. While this Roth IRA calculator illustrates potential savings growth and tax benefits, it does not replace professional guidance. You should consult with a financial advisor when making decisions that can impact your money and your future.

Did You know?

Roth IRA income limits can be circumvented by taking advantage of a tax code loophole known as the “backdoor Roth IRA.” It entails funding a traditional IRA with after-tax dollars and, subsequently, converting the contribution into a Roth IRA. That said, not everyone can pursue this loophole; complicated limitations exist.

Experts in the financial field can guide you through the process of choosing an investment account. They can also help you determine the best way to withdraw your funds in retirement — be it through purchasing an annuity, withdrawing certain percentages each month or through another method.

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Frequently Asked Questions About Calculating a Roth IRA

How much can I put in a Roth IRA each year?

According to the IRS, the 2024 contribution limit is $7,000. If you’re 50 or older, the maximum contribution is $8,000. This is an aggregate limit that applies to all IRAs you own. 

How much should I put into my Roth IRA?

To ensure a comfortable retirement, the conservative approach is to maximize your contributions each year. However, the exact amount each individual should contribute depends on his or her financial situation and desired retirement lifestyle.

Can you lose money in a Roth IRA?

Yes. It is possible to lose money in a Roth IRA. Most losses are dependent on market fluctuations; however, you can also lose money from incurring early withdrawal penalties.

What is the five-year rule for a Roth IRA?

There are several different five-year rules. The most common refers to the five-year waiting period required to make penalty-free withdrawals from your Roth IRA.

Do I have to report my Roth IRA contribution on my tax return?

Unlike contributions to a traditional IRA, the IRS has stated you don’t need to report Roth IRA contributions on tax returns.

Can married couples have two Roth IRAs?

Married couples, like single filers, can have multiple IRAs. However, joint accounts aren’t permitted. Each spouse can contribute to his or her own account or one spouse can make all the contributions to the accounts. However, the aggregate annual contribution limits noted above are applicable.

Editor Malori Malone contributed to this article. 

Please seek the advice of a qualified professional before making financial decisions.
Last Modified: January 11, 2024
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