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Difference Between IRA and CD

business and financeIRA vs CD

When you’re investing, it’s vital to know the difference between IRA and CD, especially if you’re investing for retirement purposes. IRA simply stands for an individual retirement account. It means that this is not a retirement account that is matched, recommended, or contributed to, by your employer in the traditional sense. CD stands for certificate of deposit.

One of the most important differences between an IRA and a CD is the length of time for which you’re investing. A CD is really very similar to a savings account with a timed investment period. You can invest in a CD for 6 months, 2 years, 5 years, or any other committed time frame. You receive a higher rate of return than you would if you put the same amount of money in a savings account, and will pay steep penalties for any kind of early withdrawal for most accounts.

On the other hand, you can’t withdraw your money from an IRA until you reach the appropriate age. You can deposit $10,000 at the age of 30 in an IRA, and another $10,000 in a CD. Regardless of your age, you can pull out your initial investment from the CD when it matures, but you can’t touch the IRA until you reach the given age, usually 59 ½ years old.

You can invest in a CD inside the IRA investment. You cannot invest in an IRA inside a CD investment.

Once the IRA investor reaches 70 ½ there is a requirement that money is withdrawn from the account. Each IRA will have a set minimum that you must take out on a structured basis, usually annually. A CD gives you the option to roll over the interest, and principle, for as long as you like.

CD investments offer stable investment opportunities. IRA investments offer a higher rate of return, when alternative investments are made in addition to the CD.


1. Money from an IRA cannot be withdrawn until the age of 59 ½, regardless of the age of the investor when it was started.

2. CD investments are for a specific time period, and have no age requirement for withdrawal.

3. You can use CD investments inside an IRA.

4. You cannot invest in an IRA within a CD.

5. At the age of 70 ½, the investor must start withdrawing the announced minimum.

6. You are never required to withdraw from a CD.

7. CD investments offer stable returns.

8. IRA investments offer various returns, as they are comprised of additional investments.

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1 Comment

  1. at 90 and 80 years old should we put our money into a c.d. or an i.r.a……thanks, for any advice…..

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