Get free help preparing your taxes from AARP Foundation Tax-Aide. Find a location


You Could Choose Your Dream Vacation

Contests and

AARP’s Superstar
2015 Contest

Sing for a chance to win $5,000! Enter AARP’s Superstar 2015 Contest!
See official rules.

Driver Safety

Piggy bank on the road - AARP Driver Safety

Take the new AARP Smart Driver Course!

AARP Books

Visit the Money Section

Enjoy titles on retirement, Social Security, and becoming debt-free.

Jobs You Might Like

most popular


Financial Security for You and Your Family

Transcript of Chat With Carrie Schwab-Pomerantz and Jane Bryant Quinn

Question from Ingrid: Do you have information about how somebody starts an individual retirement plan?

CSP: Great question, Ingrid. Congratulations on taking action on your financial future.

There are two different IRAs to consider: The Roth IRA is available depending on your income. It does not allow you to deduct your $5,000 contribution, it does grow tax free and withdrawals are tax free when you turn 59 and a half. Two: The traditional IRA, depending on your income level, typically let's you deduct your $5,000 contribution from your income and grows tax-deferred. However, when you start to take withdrawals, it is taxed at your ordinary tax rate.

I would check with your tax adviser on which of these IRAs is best for your tax situation.     

JBQ: Great tips, Carrie. There are two places to call for an individual retirement account: your bank and mutual fund groups.

Question from KJ: What is the best way to find a financial adviser? Is there a good way to check their background?

JBQ: Excellent question, KJ. Many call themselves "financial advisers" or they may call themselves senior advisers or financial consultants, they are sales people who sell products. Their advice will be influenced by that fact. It might be good advice for you or might not. My favorite financial advisers are called "fee-only." They charge for advice [and] they do not sell any products. They may charge a flat fee for a tune-up or a plan.

If they manage your money, they will charge typically 1 percent or less of the money they manage. Try a search engine and search "fee-only financial planners." One warning: Some planners call themselves "fee-based" and they usually sell products as well as advice.        

CSP: All great points, Jane. Another resource is to tap your friends for their advice. When you do meet with an adviser, ask for their ADV form — which explains their investment philosophy.    

Should Pre-Retirees Look at Income-Based Instruments? >>

Topic Alerts

You can get weekly email alerts on the topics below. Just click “Follow.”

Manage Alerts


Please wait...

progress bar, please wait

Tell Us WhatYou Think

Please leave your comment below.

The Cheap Life

Jeff Yeager Cheap Life Ultimate Cheapskate AARP YouTube web series save money

Catch the latest episode of The Cheap Life starring Jeff Yeager, AARP's Ultimate Cheapskate. Watch

Discounts & Benefits

From companies that meet the high standards of service and quality set by AARP.

membership benefit financial college aarp

Advice on saving for education from AARP® College Savings Solutions from TIAA-CREF.

AARP Credit card from Chase

Members can get cash back rewards on purchases with the AARP® Credit Card from Chase.

member benefit aarp financial service auto insurance

AARP® Auto Insurance Program from The Hartford offers members no-cost quotes.

Member Benefits

Join or renew today! AARP members receive exclusive member benefits & affect social change.

Advance your skills. Transform your career.

Explore your learning possibilities.