Seven Accounts These Experts Recommend for an Ideal Retirement Plan

Choosing the right account for your needs is a great first step to kick-starting your retirement savings.

An older couple happily dance in the surf at a beach.
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Saving for retirement is an important step for anyone who hopes to stop working after a certain age. However, while many people understand the importance of retirement savings as part of their financial journey, they may not always understand the best way to go about it. Though putting your retirement savings into a standard savings account may seem like an easy option, several other, more advantageous accounts exist that can help you reach your retirement goals faster — and may help you avoid more taxes down the line.

But which account is right for you? When offering advice and discussing options with their own clients, the financial leaders of Kiplinger Advisor Collective have a few favorites in mind. Below, they go over seven different accounts you can choose from to kick-start your retirement savings and share why they recommend these solutions to anyone looking into their ideal retirement plan.

A taxable brokerage account
“For clients interested in retiring early, taxable brokerage accounts are the unsung heroes. While there are many benefits to contributing to qualified retirement accounts, accessing them prior to you reaching 59½ years old can be tricky. A well-funded taxable brokerage account is not only crucial for an early retiree, but it's also a powerful account for traditional retirees seeking to optimize their tax bracket.” — Dennis McNamara, wHealth Advisors

Subscribe to Kiplinger’s Personal Finance

Be a smarter, better informed investor.

Save up to 74%

Sign up for Kiplinger’s Free E-Newsletters

Profit and prosper with the best of expert advice on investing, taxes, retirement, personal finance and more - straight to your e-mail.

Profit and prosper with the best of expert advice - straight to your e-mail.

Sign up

A traditional IRA
“Sometimes people overthink retirement and get intimidated by all of the options. Ultimately, they end up frozen, never making a decision. Just keep it simple and start with a traditional IRA, take the short-term income tax deduction and start watching your money grow via compound interest over the course of your working years.” — Andrew Schrage, Money Crashers LLC

A Roth IRA
“Even though people's financial goals and situations may differ, I usually like to recommend a Roth account. This is mainly because the tax rate could be significantly higher by the time they retire, and most people would not want to be paying taxes during that time. Overall, I think it's better to be taxed before retirement so people can maximize their retirement funds when it's time to.” — Justin Donald, Lifestyle Investor

Kiplinger Advisor Collective is the premier criteria-based professional organization for personal finance advisors, managers, and executives. Learn more >

An employer-sponsored account
“I always recommend taking advantage of employer-sponsored retirement accounts like a 401(k) or 403(b), especially if your employer offers a match. These accounts not only help reduce your taxable income but also contribute to building a substantial nest egg for the long term. Additionally, I highly recommend having a Roth or traditional IRA as a supplement to your retirement plan. Roth IRAs offer the added benefit of tax-free growth, making them an excellent choice for securing a comfortable retirement.” — Ramona Ortega, My Money My Future

An annuity
“One type of retirement account that I believe is often underrated is an annuity. Like some of the other types of retirement plans, annuities are tax-deferred. However, this account is especially advantageous in the fact that it does not require you to set it up under an employer, like a 401(k). Naturally, this creates more opportunities for people to sign up. Plus, it offers flexible payment options.” — Angela Ruth, Due

An account dependent on your tax rate
“Choosing the right account depends on two things: your current tax rate and your projected future tax rate in retirement. As a rule of thumb, if your future tax rate will be lower than your current tax rate, contributing to a tax-deductible retirement account (e.g., traditional 401(k), traditional IRA) while you're still working is likely the most ideal.” — Taylor Schulte, Define Financial

A mix of taxable, tax-deferred and tax-free accounts
“Of course, it depends on the personal and financial circumstances of the individual. For example, do they have access to an employer-sponsored retirement plan? Do they need tax savings today or in the future? So, think about ‘tax diversification.’ By having a mix of taxable, tax-deferred and tax-free accounts, clients can strategically withdraw from them and minimize taxes in retirement. Roth IRAs grow tax-free.” — Marguerita Cheng, Blue Ocean Global Wealth

Related Content


The information provided here is not investment, tax or financial advice. You should consult with a licensed professional for advice concerning your specific situation.

Kiplinger Advisor Collective

Kiplinger Advisor Collective is the premier criteria-based professional organization for personal finance advisors, managers, and executives.