cropped view of senior woman writing in notebook with roth ira and traditional ira words

IRAs Explained

All of us think about the future — but have you contemplated which way you plan to save for yours? Individual retirement accounts, or IRAs, are one of the most popular ways to accrue money for life after work. With a number of types available, it’s important to learn which one might be most advantageous for you. 

What is an IRA?

All individual retirement accounts function as savings plans, accruing money as you invest in stocks, bonds, and mutual funds. Your workplace may offer IRA options – but even if they do not, you can also open one for yourself. All IRA types are individually held, which means that you can’t hold a joint account with your spouse or open one with your kids. 

No matter which type of IRA you choose, you can contribute up to $6,500 ($7,500 if you’re age 50 or older) in 2023.1 By investing that contribution into stocks, bonds, or mutual funds, you can grow your investment over time. And by contributing, you could qualify for a tax credit of up to $1,000.2 If you want to open an IRA, you can do this through your bank, a stockbroker or mutual fund, or a life insurance company. 

IRA Types

Traditional IRA

A traditional IRA is a tax-deferred account, meaning that you can deduct your contributions from the current tax year, but you will be taxed when funds are accessed after retirement. This is advantageous for those whose retirement income is projected to be less than their working income, because you’ll only have to pay the tax rate for your retirement income bracket. Traditional IRAs can lower your annual taxable income, grow on a tax-deferred basis, and set many retirees up for success. 

Roth IRA

A Roth IRA is a tax-exempt account, which means that you’ll contribute with after-tax dollars, and you will not be taxed when you withdraw your money after retirement. A Roth IRA does have income limits and contribution limits,3 so not everyone qualifies, but it’s still an appealing option to many. If your retirement income is expected to be higher than your current income, this is an option worth considering. 

Employer IRAs

Some companies offer IRAs to their employees in addition to 401(k) plans. While 401(k) accounts are opened through your employer, Employer IRAs are still opened individually, although your company may offer direct deductions from your paycheck or other savings incentives as you contribute. Employer IRAs include Payroll Deduction IRA plans, SEP – Simplified Employee Pension plans, SIMPLE IRA plans – Savings Incentive Match Plan for Employees, and SARSEP – the Salary Reduction Simplified Employee Pension Plan. You can chat with your employer about the options available to you. 

Changing IRA Types

It’s possible to convert a traditional IRA into a Roth IRA, and some high-income earners may choose to do so. If you currently exceed Roth IRA income limits, converting your traditional IRA into a Roth IRA can help you secure the kind of retirement account you want. As Investopedia explains, “The backdoor Roth IRA strategy is not a tax dodge—in fact, it may incur higher taxes when it’s established—but you’ll get the future tax savings of a Roth account.”4

If you want to start or grow your individual retirement account, we’d love to help you build wealth for a secure future after your career is behind you. Contact a SageSpring advisor today to learn about your IRA options. 

The foregoing information has been obtained from sources considered to be reliable, but we do not guarantee that it is accurate or complete, it is not a statement of all available data necessary for making an investment decision, and it does not constitute a recommendation. Any opinions are those of SageSpring Wealth Partners and not necessarily those of Raymond James. Expressions of opinion are as of this date and are subject to change without notice.

Jeffrey Dobyns
Jeffrey T. Dobyns


President, SageSpring | Financial Advisor, RJFS 

Jeffrey T. Dobyns

President, SageSpring | Financial Advisor, RJFS

Jeff Dobyns is President and Founder of SageSpring Wealth Partners. Passionate about serving his clients, he strives to truly get to know them, understand their goals, and provide them with financial confidence before developing and executing ongoing, strategic financial plans. 

In order to meet the highest standards of professionalism and ethics in the industry, Jeff is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional, a Chartered Life Underwriter, a Chartered Financial Consultant, and a participant of the Dave Ramsey SmartVestor referral service program.

Jeff has held executive positions with financial planning firms for more than two decades. He served as VP of Investments of Lykins Financial Group CPAs before founding SageSpring in 2002. Jeff has been recognized for his unwavering commitment to his clients, and as a leader among Raymond James financial advisors, earning membership in Raymond James Chairman’s Council every year since 2008.

Jeff devotes considerable time and resources to a number of causes. He serves as Chairman of the Board of Men of Valor, a prison ministry and mentoring program. He is on the advisory board of The Signatry of Middle Tennessee, which works with families to increase their charitable giving to their favorite causes, as well as the advisory board for Halftime Institute of Nashville, an organization that coaches marketplace leaders to discern and engage in their life purpose. Jeff also serves on the board of Send Musicians to Prison, which shares hope, healing and restoration with the imprisoned through musicians & artists. He is a past board member of Porter’s Call, a Nashville charity that provides free counseling for musicians and their families, and the Martha O’Bryan Center, which empowers those in poverty to transform their lives through work, education, employment, and fellowship.

Jeff and his wife, Amy, are grateful to be raising their four children, Gracyn, Hunter, and twins Tanner and Logan at Christ Presbyterian Academy. Jeff enjoys being outdoors with his family- boating, hiking, skiing, hunting and fishing.

Ramsey Solution’s relationship and agreement is between SageSpring Wealth Partners only. Raymond James Financial Services, Inc. is not affiliated with the solicitor arrangement between Ramsey Solutions and SageSpring Wealth Partners.

Membership is based on prior fiscal year production. Re-qualification is required annually.  The ranking may not be representative of any one client’s experience, is not an endorsement, and is not indicative of an advisor’s future performance. No fee is paid in exchange for this award/rating.

Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. (CFP Board) owns the certification marks CFP®, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, and CFP® (with plaque design) in the United States, which it authorizes use of by individuals who successfully complete CFP Board’s initial and ongoing certification requirements.