An IRA Owner's Manual

This tutorial explains the basics of IRAs and how to get the most out of them.

The best combination for retirement
(Image credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Even if you're saving with a 401(k) or other employer-based account, an individual retirement account should be an integral part of your retirement plan. The reason: Your earnings accumulate inside an IRA tax free, supercharging the already powerful effect of compound interest.

The biggest decision you'll face these days is not whether to open an IRA, but rather what type of IRA to go with -- the more traditional tax-deductible IRA or the Roth IRA, which lets you take tax-free withdrawals in retirement.

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