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What is an IRA?

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An IRA, or Individual Retirement Account is a type of retirement savings account that has a number of tax benefits. The government wants to encourage you to save for retirement so they allow you to avoid some taxes if you use that money to save for retirement. When you contribute to an IRA (up to $5,500/year), you can deduct that from your taxable income, thus lowering your tax bill. Anyone can contribute to an IRA – unlike it’s close cousin, the 401(k), an IRA is completely independent of your employer. Once you’ve made your contributions, you have full control over how you want to invest the money. Be sure to check the fees on each investment selection to ensure you aren’t giving your hard earned money away!