Saving outside your plan | American Funds

Saving outside your plan

Saving outside your plan

Your employer’s plan is not the only way you can save and receive tax benefits. You have several investment options:

Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs)

Like your employer’s retirement plan, IRAs allow you to invest money for retirement while providing tax benefits as well. You can invest up to $6,000 in 2020 — and even more if you’re 50 or older.

There are two kinds of IRAs to consider — Traditional and Roth.

You may qualify for a tax deduction on your traditional IRA if you meet the following criteria: Your household income must be less than $75,000 in 2020 for single tax filers or $124,000 in 2020 for joint tax filers.

Contact your financial professional or visit for more information about IRAs.

Mutual funds

Investing in mutual funds outside of your retirement plan can provide another tax-friendly saving opportunity. While your savings do not grow tax-deferred as they would in a Traditional IRA or 401(k) plan, current tax rates on qualified dividends and long-term capital gains can be considered favorable when compared with regular income tax rates.

*This rate does not include the 3.8% Medicare surtax applicable to net investment income for higher income taxpayers.

Tax-exempt bond funds

These mutual funds typically invest in bonds issued by state and local governments to finance projects such as highways, schools, hospitals and airports.

  • Dividends paid by these funds are exempt from regular federal income taxes.
  • State-specific tax-exempt funds can offer both federal and state tax advantages.
  • The higher your tax bracket, the more benefit there is to investing in tax-exempt bond funds.

Click here for information on American Funds tax-exempt bond funds. Your financial professional can help you select from these or other tax-exempt funds that may be right for you.

Variable annuities

A variable annuity is an investment that includes an option that can help make sure you don’t outlive your assets.

  • Taxes aren’t due until earnings are withdrawn. (Note that you may have to pay a 10% federal penalty tax on earnings withdrawn before age 59-1/2. Surrender charges and other costs may apply.)
  • Your money is invested in professionally managed funds that are similar to mutual funds.
  • Returns fluctuate as the prices of the stocks and bonds in the funds rise and fall, so the returns are variable.
  • They typically include a death benefit that can provide some protection to your beneficiaries.

Education savings programs

If you’d like to put money away for college tuition or other education expenses and receive certain tax benefits, consider these three options:

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Investments are not FDIC-insured, nor are they deposits of or guaranteed by a bank or any other entity, so they may lose value.

Investors should carefully consider investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses. This and other important information is contained in the fund prospectuses, summary prospectuses and CollegeAmerica Program Description, which can be obtained from a financial professional and should be read carefully before investing.

CollegeAmerica is distributed by American Funds Distributors, Inc. and sold through unaffiliated intermediaries

Depending on your state of residence, there may be an in-state plan that provides state tax and other state benefits, such as financial aid, scholarship funds and protection from creditors, not available through CollegeAmerica.

Before investing in any state's 529 plan, investors should consult a tax advisor.

This content, developed by Capital Group, home of American Funds, should not be used as a primary basis for investment decisions and is not intended to serve as impartial investment or fiduciary advice.

Investing in American Funds

Find out how you can invest nonretirement plan money in the American Funds.