Consider that European ethnocentrism is still practiced today in schools where history courses typically focus on the history of the United States and Europe, largely ignoring other parts of the world. You will have an idea that you are the one who will dictate the flow of your retirement plan from the word "self directed" alone. On the other hand, a married couple can create an account in Roth IRA providing that they have an annual combined AGI of less than $150,000. Just in case you take out the money in the bank account then collection of taxes might take place with regards to that. Remember that the important thing is that you're saving and investing for retirement, and while it's good to try and read about these options, the importance part is that you are in fact doing something, and that's what counts.