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Where to Open a Roth IRA in 2024


Roth IRAs are popular and powerful tools for saving for retirement. Because Roth IRA contributions are taxed upfront, these after-tax accounts allow you to harness the power of tax-free growth. This makes them a valuable option in the retirement planning toolbox. Luckily, there are plenty of institutions that offer these accounts. We gathered data on the Roth IRA universe and highlighted some popular places where you can open and maintain one. They can suit a range of investors, from the more independent to those who want to leave the investment decisions to a trusted financial advisor or robo-advisor platform.

What Is a Roth IRA and Why Should You Get One?

A Roth IRA helps your retirement savings grow tax-free. Though Roth IRAs offer no tax breaks for contributions, when you’re ready to retire, you can take tax-free distributions after age 59.5 as long as you’ve held the account for at least five years. For 2024, the Roth IRA contribution limit is $7,000, bumped up to $8,000 if you’re age 50 or older.

The first five providers we cover may better suit the do-it-yourself investor. These are people who want to set their own asset allocation, pick their investments and re-balance their portfolio as they see fit. On the other hand, you may want to leave the investment decisions to the professionals. In this case, you may feel better off with the last providers we cover.

Keep in mind there are more places to open a Roth IRA than the providers listed below. This list is purely designed to be an introduction to the world of Roth IRA account options.

Charles Schwab

Basic Account Details

Minimum to Open Account– $0
Fees– $0 per online stock trade
Pros– ETF options with no commission fees
Cons– $0 commission does not apply to all transactions

When you open a Roth IRA, you can choose from a range of funds, including exchange-traded funds (ETFs) with no commission fees. This means your returns can go a bit further at Charles Schwab when your portfolio performs well. And you can open an account with as little or as much as you please. The firm recently dropped its minimum balance requirement. Plus, you’ll get several digital tools to help you plan your retirement.

TD Ameritrade

Basic Account Details

Minimum to Open Account– $0
Fees– No maintenance fees or fees for online trades
Pros– More than 300 commission-free ETFs to choose from.
Cons– Investment minimums for managed portfolios can rise to $250,000

If you open a Roth IRA at TD Ameritrade, you’ll get free access to a wealth of digital tools like savings calculators and other features designed to help you plan for your retirement. Keep in mind that TD Ameritrade was acquired by Charles Schwab, so your account will eventually be moved.

You may even find that rolling over into a Roth IRA will save you on plenty of fees.


Basic Account Details

Minimum to Open Account– $0
Fees– $0 per stock, ETF, mutual funds and options trades
Pros– Digital tools and educational resources for investors
Cons– $25 fees for recharacterizations, refunds and early withdrawals

With an E*TRADE Roth IRA, you’d have access to a substantial amount of fund options, including stocks, bonds, futures and ETFs. You’d also have robo-advisor options and managed accounts run by professional investors you can work with. However, E-Trade stands out for also letting you invest in actively managed funds. These aim to beat the market rather than replicate it as their ETF counterparts do.


Basic Account Details

Minimum to Open Account– $0
FeesNo transaction fees for online mutual funds and ETFs
Pros– low fees
– In-house target date fund options
Cons– Though there is no minimum to open an account, most mutual funds require at least a $1,000 balance

Vanguard stands out in the asset-management industry for its low fees. In fact, the firm states the fees on its mutual funds and ETFs are 83% lower than the industry average. It can charge such low fees partly because many of its mutual funds and ETFs are passively managed. The firm is also known for its target-date funds (TDFs), which automatically rebalance based on your age to take on less risk as you get closer to retirement.

Merrill Edge

Basic Account Details

Minimum to Open Account– $0 (for online account)
Fees– $0 per online stock and ETF trades
Pros– Wide array of investment options
– Access to financial advisors
Cons– Higher fees and minimums for advisor-guided investing

Merrill Edge offers useful investment research and educational tools you can utilize to save for retirement. And you have virtually the entire fund universe to build your IRA portfolio with. That includes mutual funds, ETFs and even options. Or you can invest in a professionally managed portfolio run by Merrill Edge investing experts. And if you’re a Bank of America customer, you can take advantage of its Preferred Rewards program.


Basic Account Details

Minimum to Open Account– $500
Fees– 0.25% annual management based on balance
Pros– Automatic portfolio re-balancing
– Digital tools to help you save
Cons– May not be the best for do-it-yourself investors

Wealthfront emerged onto the scene as one of the top robo-advisors out there. As of 2023, it had $26 billion in assets under management. The firm offers a variety of digital tools such as calculators to help you figure out how much you should be socking away to meet your goals. Through its Path service, you can create a personalized savings strategy. You can also take advantage of tax-loss harvesting.


Basic Account Details

Minimum to Open Account– $0
Fees– 0.20% average expense ratio on ETFs
– 0.25% annual management fee based on balance (for digital plan)
Pros– Automatic investing and portfolio re-balancing
– Digital tools
Cons– Probably not the best option for people who want the flexibility to invest in specific stocks or assets.

Betterment is another leading robo-advisor that aims to open up the world of investing to everyone. It plans to meet this goal with its automated investing service. So when you invest in a Betterment Roth IRA, professional managers run it for you. The firm also keeps fees low. The average expense ratio on its ETFs stands at 0.20%. But you still have access to a large range of investment choices.

How Do You Open a Roth IRA?

SmartAsset: Best Roth IRA 2023

It typically takes just a few minutes to open a Roth IRA. You may need some basic information like most recent addresses and Social Security number, as well as bank account and routing numbers to make your initial contribution.

Once you’ve gathered these details, the easiest way to open a Roth IRA is to do so online. Simply visit the website of the firm you’d like to work with and go to their retirement planning section. From there, you can usually click on “Open an IRA” to get started. The website will guide you through the process step-by-step. If the firm has physical branches, you can always stop by one of their offices and speak with a retirement planning expert. You can usually find the nearest branch by entering your zip code on their website.

Tips for Retirement Planning

  • A financial advisor can guide you on saving, investing, managing your risk and more. SmartAsset’s free tool matches you with up to three vetted financial advisors in your area, and you can interview your advisor matches at no cost to decide which one is right for you. If you’re ready to find an advisor who can help you achieve your financial goals, get started now.
  • At a loss for where even to begin? Our retirement calculator will help you take the first step of figuring out how much to save to meet your retirement goals. We also have a Social Security calculator that will estimate how much you can expect in benefits.
  • Do your research to make sure you’re making the best choice for your retirement needs. Here’s a breakdown of IRAs vs. 401(k)s.

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