Skip to main content

Save & invest for retirement:
Start now, even if you
start small

Retirement may not be on your radar yet, but it's important to start saving early: The more time your money has the opportunity to grow, the easier it will be to help you pursue your goal.

Contribute to your 401(k) up to any employer match

Contributions to your traditional 401(k) plan are taken pre-tax from your paycheck, which means you can reduce your tax bill while allowing that money to work harder for you. Contributions to a Roth 401(k) are made with after-tax dollars, so you forego the tax deduction now, but any future earnings are generally federal and state tax-free upon withdrawal.
Contribute enough to take full advantage of any employer match — it's free money that could make a major difference in your overall savings.
You'll still need to manage your 401(k) by deciding how to allocate your funds, and consider rebalancing your investments at least annually to make sure they're in sync with your goals. And if you can put away additional money, keep it going — you can contribute up to $19,500 annually in 2020, which may lower your income tax burden even more.
Try it:
Roth or Traditional?
Find out which IRA may be right for you with our IRA Selector Tool.
Try our IRA selector tool

Open an individual retirement account (IRA)

In addition to a company-sponsored 401(k), you can contribute up to $6,000 in 2020 to a traditional or Roth IRA. Which you choose depends on your income, age and your tax bracket today compared to what you expect it to be in retirement.
Traditional IRAs: Your savings can grow tax-deferred, which means you don't pay taxes until you take a distribution. Contributions may also be tax deductible.
Learn more:
Roth IRAs: Contributions are made on an after-tax basis. Generally, qualified withdrawals on contributions and earnings will be federal income tax-free and may be state tax-free, as long as you meet certain criteria.Footnote 1
Learn more:
Rollover IRAs: Consolidating your retirement assets into one easy-to-manage account is simple with a rollover IRA. Consider all of your choices and learn if a rollover IRA may be right for you.Footnote 2
Learn more:

Start picturing your retirement needs

Retirement may be years away, but it's important to start saving for it early. Merrill can help, from our easy-to-use retirement tools to our licensed representatives.
Try it:
What's your personal retirement number?
Calculate how much you'll need to retire
Ready to get started?
Call 24/7
Looking for a different approach to investing?
Get a professionally managed portfolio aligned to your goals that's built, monitored and rebalanced by Merrill investment professionals with the option to work with a licensed advisor.
Get up to $600 when you invest in a new Merrill Edge® Self-Directed account. How to qualify for up to $600 in a new Merrill Edge Self-Directed account
Footnote 1 Please note, however, that income-based restrictions are still in place regarding how much you can contribute to a Roth IRA.

You have choices about what to do with your employer-sponsored retirement plan accounts. Depending on your financial circumstances, needs and goals, you may choose to roll over to an IRA or convert to a Roth IRA, roll over an employer-sponsored plan from your old job to your new employer, take a distribution, or leave the account where it is. Each choice may offer different investment options and services, fees and expenses, withdrawal options, required minimum distributions, tax treatment, and different types of protection from creditors and legal judgments. These are complex choices and should be considered with care. Visit our Rollover IRA page or call a Merrill rollover specialist at 888.637.3343 for more information about your choices.
Did you know that there are two ways to move assets from one IRA to another? The most common is a transfer. This is when you transfer assets from an IRA held at one financial institution to an IRA at another. You may directly transfer assets between investment firms as frequently as you wish. The second, less common approach is called a rollover. Rollovers occur when you withdraw assets from an IRA and then "roll" those assets back into the same IRA or into another one within 60 days. IRS rules limit you to one rollover per client per twelve month period. If you have questions or want to learn more call 888.637.3343 or consult a tax advisor.

A direct rollover occurs when you request that a rollover check be made payable directly to the new custodian for the benefit of your individual retirement account (IRA) or employer-sponsored retirement plan. A direct rollover is not subject to current tax or penalties.

An indirect rollover occurs when you request that a rollover check be made payable to you, after which you deposit the money into your IRA or another employer's retirement plan within 60 days. When such a distribution is made by the plan, the plan is required by law to withhold 20% of the taxable amount for prepayment of federal income taxes. If you wish to rollover the entire distribution, you must make up the 20% withholding out of your own funds, or you will be subject to income taxes and possibly early withdrawal penalties on the shortfall. If you fail to complete the rollover within 60 days, all or part of the money distributed to you will be taxable and a 10% additional tax for early withdrawals may apply.