Six Ways to Use an IRA You Haven’t Thought Of

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Candice writes for several publications, including The Christian Post, Red State, The Black Sphere and Patriot Update. She is the Science & Tech Editor at the Minority Report Blog and the founder and Editor-in-Chief at Front Lines. She's also the founder of Candice Lanier's Tech News and works as a computer consultant. Additionally, Candice is an antiques dealer.

Six More Uses for an IRA

Since its inception more than three decades ago, the individual retirement account, or IRA, has solidified its role as the investment tool of choice for long-term savers seeking tax-favored growth.

Some 46 million U.S. households, or 39%, own an IRA, according to the Investment Company Institute, most with the intent of using those dollars to supplement their income after they stop collecting a paycheck.

But the ubiquitous IRA can flex far more muscle than that.

From estate-planning vehicle to emergency reserve to college savings plan, assets held within an IRA can be deployed for a multitude of reasons, often without penalty.

“There are so many exceptions to the early withdrawal penalty that there’s a lot of flexibility in how you can use an IRA,” says Tom Balcom, a CFP with 1650 Wealth Management in Boca Raton, Fla.

Medical Expenses

You can use your IRA, for example, to pay unreimbursed medical expenses for any amount that exceeds 7.5% of your adjusted gross income — without getting hit with the 10% early withdrawal penalty that normally applies to distributions taken before age 59½.               More

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