With the yearly contribution limit of an IRA being $5500, are you allowed to open mutliple IRAs and does this make sense? I was curious what people who want to invest more into a retirement account but don't have a 401k usually do.
are you allowed to open multiple IRAs?
Yes - but the contribution limit applies to all IRAs in total, so you cannot go over that limit by contributing to multiple IRAs.
I was curious what people who want to invest more into a retirement account but don't have a 401k usually do.
Invest in non-retirement accounts:
529 and other education savings plans are good alternatives if you have children that will be attending college
health savings accounts are pre-tax, and grow tax-free if they are used for qualified medical expenses. The maximum tax deduction for HSAs for 2017 is $6,750 for family coverage.
Depending on your situation, you might also be able to open a spousal IRA, which will allow you to contribute to an IRA for your spouse in his/her name, meaning that the account is fully owned by them and not you.
D Stanley's answer is good, but I'd add a couple of other things to think about:
If you're married, you can each set up an IRA which (provided you share finances) can effectively double the IRA limit (because you have one and your spouse has one).
If you're self-employed, set up an SEP-IRA which has much higher contribution limits if your income is high enough.