IRAs allow you to make tax-deferred investments to provide financial security when you retire. Assess your financial needs Where am I, financially? The Roadmap to Saving and Investing (U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission) can help you evaluate your financial situation. What will my Social Security retirement benefit be? Calculate what you can expect as your Social Security retirement benefit. How much will I need when I retire? Use the calculators available on the Choose to Save page sponsored by the American Savings Education Council (ASEC) to estimate what you'll need. The Department of Labor website also has retirement planning information. Set up your IRA What kind of IRA best suits my needs? Traditional IRA or Roth IRA? Traditional vs. Roth IRA comparison chart You can set up an IRA with a: bank or other financial institution life insurance company mutual fund stockbroker Investing your IRA assets The IRS can't give advice about specific investments. See The IRS Does Not Approve IRA Investments (Publication 3125) PDF. Some kinds of investments are not allowed in an IRA. See IRA FAQs - Investments Investing and Diversification resources from the Department of Labor can get you started on investing for your future. Additional IRA resources See Contributions to Individual Retirement Arrangements (IRAs) (Publication 590-A) for detailed information on IRAs and IRA transactions.