man standing in his office

Few retirement plans can give you the wide array of options that an IRA does. There are numerous IRA investment options. Work with an investment professional to find the right choices for your retirement goals and risk tolerance.

Here are some of the options you can use with IRA investing:

IRA investment types

Variable annuities

  • Offer various underlying investment options managed by professional money managers
  • Include insurance features (some optional, which involve extra costs) that can protect the value of your assets
  • Can provide income for life or for a fixed period of time
  • Can increase in value from positive market performance and decrease from market downturns
  • Include investment options that vary in amount of risk – with potential returns varying accordingly
  • Involve management fees and insurance costs

Fixed annuities

  • Guarantee a minimum rate of return
  • Have no fees, but may have early withdrawal penalties 
  • Can provide income for life if you choose, or for a fixed period of time
  • May not protect against inflation and don't benefit from any positive future market performance 

Immediate annuities

  • Designed for retirees
  • Provide payments that begin within a year of purchase and continue for life, or a certain period of time (your choice)
  • Can be fixed or variable investments
  • Are not liquid due to the permanent nature of the contract

Mutual funds

  • Contain a mix of investments – can include stocks, bonds and cash equivalents
  • Are managed by a professional money manager
  • Can increase in value from positive market performance and decrease in value from market downturns
  • Have a stated objective or investment style (for example, a capital appreciation fund or a moderately aggressive fund)
  • Generally have management fees
  • Vary in amount of risk, with expected returns varying accordingly

Certificates of deposit (CDs)

  • Have a fixed term, varying from 6 months to 5+ years 
  • Offer a fixed rate of return when held to maturity
  • Invested with a bank or savings and loan 
  • Provide very low risk
  • Are insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), in contrast to most types of investment products which are not FDIC-insured
  • Don’t benefit from positive market performance during an investment period
  • Generally no fees, but may have an early withdrawal penalty
chat icon
Want to work with a financial professional?

Potential purchasers seeking to use an annuity to fund a qualified or other tax-advantaged retirement plan should understand that the use of an annuity for such purpose is not necessary in order to defer taxation of investment earnings. Underlying investment options discussed here are only available as investment options in variable insurance contracts issued by life insurance companies. They are not offered directly to the general public.

Before purchasing a variable annuity, you should carefully consider the investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses of the annuity and its underlying investment options. This and other important information is contained in the product prospectus. Underlying fund prospectuses can be obtained from your investment professional or by contacting Nationwide®. Read the prospectus carefully before you make a purchase.

You should know that an annuity contains guarantees and protections that are subject to the issuing insurance company’s ability to pay for them. But these guarantees don’t apply to any variable accounts that are subject to investment risk, including possible loss of your principal.

Please remember, variable annuities are long-term investment vehicles and are not intended to replace emergency funds or to fund short-term savings goal. Investing involves market risk, including possible loss of principal, and there is no guarantee that investment objectives will be achieved. They have fees and charges that include mortality and expense, administrative fees, contract fees and the expense of the underlying investment options.

Taxable amounts withdrawn prior to age 59½ may be subject to a 10% federal tax penalty. Withdrawals will reduce the value of the death benefit and any optional benefits. Any income benefits that an annuity provides are subject to the terms, limitations, and restrictions of the annuity contract.

Please keep in mind that annuities have limitations. They are long-term vehicles designed for retirement purposes. They are not intended to replace emergency funds, to be used as income for day-to-day expenses, or to fund short-term savings goals.

Guarantees are subject to the claims paying ability of Nationwide Life Insurance Company.

Neither Nationwide nor our representatives give legal or tax advice, so consult your attorney, legal or tax advisor about these questions.