Can You Put a Million Dollars in an IRA?

Can You Put a Million Dollars in an IRA?

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Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) are one of the most popular retirement savings vehicles in the United States. They offer many advantages, including tax-deferred growth and the ability to control your investment choices. However, there are limits to how much you can contribute to an IRA each year, and rules governing when and how you can withdraw funds.

If you have or are expecting to have a million dollars, you might be wondering if you can keep it in an IRA. This is possible, but there are some factors you need to keep in mind.

In this article, we will explore the answer to this million-dollar question, and discuss the advantages and limitations of these retirement accounts. We'll also examine the various strategies that individuals can use to maximize their contributions and consider the risks and challenges of holding a large balance in an account. Overall, the goal of this article is to help you better understand the possibilities and limitations of IRAs, as well as the strategies and considerations you should keep in mind when planning your retirement savings.

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The Million Dollar Question: Can You Put a Million Dollars in an IRA?

The short answer is yes, you can put a million dollars in an IRA. However, there are some limitations to consider. Take note that the annual contribution limit for these retirement accounts is $6,500 (or $7,500 for those over 50). This means that it would take over 166 years of maximum contributions to reach a million dollars in an account.

However, you can contribute more than the annual limit through a rollover.  A rollover is a process of transferring funds from one retirement account to another, such as moving funds from a 401(k). There is no limit to how much you can roll over into an IRA, so if you have a sizable retirement plan from a previous employer, you may be able to transfer a large sum into a Roth or traditional account at once. In short, you cannot put a million dollars in an IRA except with a rollover.

Can You Put a Million Dollars in an IRA?

How to Put A Million Dollars in an IRA

Investing $1 million in an IRA can seem overwhelming, but with a clear plan, it can be a straightforward process. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to invest $1 million in an IRA.

Choose the Type of IRA

When it comes to individual retirement accounts there are two main types to choose from, a traditional or Roth account. Each type has its unique features and benefits.

Traditional IRA

A traditional account is a retirement savings account that allows individuals to make contributions with pre-tax dollars. This means that you can deduct your contributions from your taxable income, reducing your current tax liability. The earnings on your contributions are also tax-deferred, meaning you don't have to pay taxes on the funds until you withdraw them in retirement.

Roth IRA 

A Roth account is another type of retirement savings account that differs from a traditional account in a few key ways. Contributions to accounts of this type are made with after-tax dollars. This means you don't get a tax deduction when you make contributions, but you also won't have to pay taxes on the funds when you withdraw them in retirement.

Self Directed IRA

A self-directed account allows for a wider range of investment options beyond traditional stocks, bonds, and mutual funds, including precious metals, real estate, private equity, and more. With this, the account holder takes on more responsibility for selecting and managing their assets. Aside from this, it has the potential for greater returns. Do note that this type of account has the same restrictions and tax implications as traditional accounts.

Choose a Custodian or Brokerage Firm

To open an IRA, you need to choose a custodian. They hold and manage your assets and provide investment advice, which is why it's essential to choose a reliable and trustworthy custodian.

Open the IRA Aaccount

Once you have chosen a custodian, you can open your IRA. This typically involves filling out an application form, providing identification, and agreeing to the account terms and conditions. The process may vary slightly depending on the custodian you’ll be working with. 

Can You Put a Million Dollars in an IRA?

Fund the IRA Aaccount

After opening the account, you need to fund it. You can do so through two ways in which you can fund your account. 

Direct Contribution

Contributions to an IRA are subject to annual limits, which vary depending on the type you have. For 2023, the maximum annual contribution to traditional or Roth accounts is $6,500, while those aged 50 and above are allowed to contribute $7,500.

It's important to note that these contribution limits are per person, not per account. So, if you have both a traditional and a Roth account, your total contributions cannot exceed $6,500 (or $7,500 if you're over 50) for the year.

It's important to stay up to date on contribution limits and any changes that may occur from year to year. By staying within the annual limits and maximizing your contributions, you can make the most of your account and work towards a comfortable retirement.

Income Limits 

Income limits can impact your ability to contribute to certain types of IRAs. For a Roth account, your ability to contribute may be limited if your income exceeds certain levels.  In order to be eligible to add funds to a Roth account, individuals filing taxes separately must have a modified adjusted gross income (MAGI) that is lower than $153,000 in 2023. If a couple is married and files taxes jointly, their combined MAGI must be under $214,000 in 2022 or $228,000 in 2023 It's important to note that these income limits apply only to contributions to a Roth account, not to a traditional account. 


To transfer funds from a qualified retirement plan into an IRA, you'll need to initiate a direct rollover. This involves contacting your retirement plan administrator and requesting that they transfer the funds directly to your custodian. This is a tax-free transaction as long as the funds are transferred directly between the two accounts within the 60-day window. This means that once the funds are withdrawn from the retirement plan, they must be deposited into the IRA within 60 days to avoid tax penalties. Therefore, it's essential to have a clear plan and timeline in place when initiating a direct rollover.

Determine What Assets You Want to Invest In

Your custodian or brokerage firm will typically offer a range of assets, such as stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and precious metals. You can choose to invest in one or more of these options, depending on your financial goals and risk tolerance. This is important since diversification is key to managing risk in your account. It's important to invest in a mix of assets to spread your risk and maximize your returns. You can read more about the assets you can hold in your account in the succeeding sections.

Can You Put a Million Dollars in an IRA?

Monitor and Manage Your Account

Investing in an IRA is a long-term commitment, but it's essential to monitor your assets regularly. You should review your portfolio at least once a year and make adjustments if necessary. Keep in mind that your investment strategy may change over time as your financial goals and risk tolerance evolve. 

IRA Rules to Keep in Mind 

Aside from this, you also need to manage your account and keep note of the rules and regulations surrounding it.

Withdrawal Rules 

In addition to contribution limits, there are also rules governing when and how you can withdraw funds from an IRA. Withdrawals taken before age 59 ½ are generally subject to a 10% early withdrawal penalty, in addition to ordinary income taxes. There are some exceptions to this penalty, such as for certain medical expenses or first-time home purchases.

Required Minimum Distribution

Another important rule to consider is the required minimum distribution (RMD) rule. This rule requires you to start taking withdrawals from your traditional IRA at age 72, whether or not you need the funds for living expenses. Roth accounts do not have an RMD rule, so you can leave your funds in the account as long as you wish.

In conclusion, investing $1 million in an IRA can seem daunting, but it's a manageable process with the right plan. By following these steps, you can set yourself up for a comfortable retirement and maximize your returns.

Benefits and Drawbacks of Having a Million Dollars in an IRA

Investing a million dollars in an IRA can provide significant benefits for your retirement savings. However, it's important to consider both the pros and cons before making such a large investment.


  • Flexible Investment Options - These accounts allow individuals to invest in a wide range of assets including stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and real estate investment trusts (REITs), among others.
  • Tax-Advantaged Growth - They offer tax-deferred or tax-free growth on your investments, depending on the type. Through this, your money grows over time lessening the burden of annual taxes. This can be especially beneficial for a large investment like a million dollars.
  • Potential for Higher Returns - By investing in a diversified portfolio of stocks, bonds, and other assets, you may be able to achieve higher returns than you would with more conservative investments, such as savings accounts.


  • Greater Tax Liabilities - Having too much money in your account could lead to a higher tax bill later in life if you opt for a traditional account. This is because you are required to take minimum distributions from your account once you reach age 72 from a traditional account.  If you have a large balance, your required minimum distributions could be quite substantial and could push you into a higher tax bracket. 
  • Withdrawal Penalties -These can limit your access to your funds before retirement age, making your savings less accessible in case of emergencies. This is because if you withdraw your funds before retirement, you are subject to a 10% penalty in addition to income tax if you have a traditional account. 
Can You Put a Million Dollars in an IRA?

Types of Assets You Can Invest in an IRA with a Million Dollars

One of the advantages of an IRA is that you can hold a variety of different types of assets within the account. Here are some of the most common types of assets you can hold in these accounts, along with their benefits and drawbacks:

Stocks and Bonds

Stocks and bonds are two of the most common types of investments that can be held in an IRA. A stock represents ownership in a company and can provide potential returns through share price appreciation and dividends. Bonds, on the other hand, are debt securities issued by governments or corporations and offer a fixed rate of return over a specific period of time. 

By holding a combination of these in your account, you can create a diversified portfolio that can help reduce risk and increase potential returns. However investing in stocks and bonds comes with risks, including the potential for fluctuations in market prices and the possibility of losing money

ETFs and Mutual Funds

A mutual fund is a type of investment vehicle that pools money from many investors to purchase a diversified portfolio of assets. ETFs are similar to mutual funds in that they both invest in a basket of stocks or bonds. However, ETFs are traded like stocks on an exchange, while mutual funds are bought and sold at the end of each trading day at their net asset value (NAV).  Regardless of whether you choose ETFs or mutual funds, it's important to carefully consider the associated fees, as they can have a significant impact on your returns over time.

Real Estate 

Real estate can be a good investment for those looking to diversify their portfolio and potentially earn rental income or capital gains. You can invest in real estate by buying land, property, or real estate investment trusts. However, investing in this type of asset can be more complicated than holding stocks or bonds, and requires a self-directed retirement account and specialized custodian. Aside from this, real estate also has risks of damage or other unexpected expenses.

Precious Metals 

Precious metals such as gold and silver can provide a hedge against inflation and economic uncertainty. Holding precious metals in an IRA provides tax benefits, such as tax-deferred growth or tax-free withdrawals in the case of Roth accounts. However, IRS has certain rules governing IRAs when it comes to holding precious metals.  You cannot hold physical metals in your account directly and must work with a custodian who specializes in precious metals. Aside from this limitation, precious metals IRAs also have management fees and can be subject to volatility in the metals market.

Companies to Work With

If you are interested in diversifying your retirement portfolio with precious metals, you'll need to work with a specialized custodian. Here are our top three recommended companies to ensure you are in good hands. They are known for their proven track record and high-quality service, so you have peace of mind when investing with them.


Augusta Precious Metals is a dependable partner for those looking to explore the world of precious metals. They provide customized services and expert guidance to help clients navigate the complexities of gold and silver retirement accounts. In addition, their educational materials, such as webinars, articles, and videos, are thorough and beneficial. The company's dedication to customer satisfaction is evident through its 100% satisfaction guarantee. However, this company is perfect for those looking to invest large amounts of money in precious metals as they require a hefty initial investment requirement of $50,000.

#2. Goldco


Goldco specializes in gold and silver IRAs, prioritizing honesty and customer service. They offer various resources to assist clients in diversifying their portfolios and safeguarding their wealth. Goldco's repurchase program enables clients to easily sell their precious metals when the time is right. Furthermore, they waive fees during the first year of working with a new client, helping them save money. They offer free shipping and insurance so those looking to save a bit of money should consider working with them.

American Hartford Gold is a well-known provider of gold and silver IRA investments and rollovers. They are an excellent choice for individuals new to investing in precious metals as they provide free starting kits with useful resources to help clients get started. Moreover, they do not have a minimum initial investment requirement, making their services accessible to those with limited capital.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, Individual Retirement Accounts are an attractive option for retirement savings. Both traditional and Roth accounts have unique features and benefits that can help individuals save for retirement in a tax-advantaged manner. However, there are limitations to consider, such as contribution and income limits, as well as rules governing withdrawals. All in all, it is indeed possible to have a million dollars in your Individual Retirement Account. However, it would require consistent maximum contributions over a period of several decades or rolling over funds from a qualified retirement plan.  You can follow the steps we mentioned in this article to start securing your financial future and be a step closer to having a million dollars in your account.