It’s not an investment. An IRA is a vehicle that holds a variety of different investments that you choose, such as CDs, stocks, bonds, mutual funds and annuities. The type of IRA (Roth or traditional) will dictate the tax treatment you receive, but your choice of investments (mutual funds, CDs, etc.) will provide the return.
Leave it alone until you’re 59½. To reap all the tax benefits of your IRA, you’ll want to avoid making withdrawals before the age of 59½. Early withdrawals could mean taxes, and a 10% penalty which can take a hefty bite out of your savings and throw your plans off track. There are times when that doesn’t hold true. Read on.