What's the difference between an individual retirement account (IRA) and a certificate of deposit (CD)?

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April 2017
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An Individual Retirement Account (IRA) is a tax deferred account available for anyone of any age as long as you have earned income. Once you open your account, you may invest the funds in your IRA in, but not limited to stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and/or even CDs. An IRA is an account set up at a financial institution that allows an individual to save for retirement with tax-free growth or on a tax-deferred basis. A traditional IRA is tax deferred which you make contributions with money you may be able to deduct on your tax return, and any earnings can potentially grow tax-deferred until you withdraw them in retirement.

A Certificate of Deposit (CD) is a type of fixed interest rate deposit over a specified period of time. When that term ends, you can withdraw your money or roll it into another CD. Withdrawing before maturity can result in a penalty. It is low risk and low return. CDs are among the safest investment a person can make. The interest rate is determined ahead of time, and you’re guaranteed to get back what you put in, plus interest once the CD matures. What’s more, if the bank fails or goes under, your deposit is most probably insured by the FDIC for up to $250,000.

The difference being that an IRA is a type of account in which you may leave in cash or invest in differing securities or CDs. Whereas a CD is a time deposit at a financial institution which may be bought in either a qualified (IRA) account or a non qualified (cash) account.

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