Can I Contribute To My Wife’s Roth IRA?

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Can I Contribute To My Wife's Roth IRA?

I’ve heard that you have to have earned income in order to contribute to a Roth IRA. I have earned income but my wife does not. Can she open a Roth IRA account and am I allowed to contribute on her behalf?

– Trying to save in Virginia

Yes, you can contribute to your wife’s Roth IRA. Here are some details:

In 2015, the IRS limits how much you can contribute to a Roth IRA to $5,500 if you are younger than 50. If you are 50 or older, you can contribute an extra $1,000 to “catch up”, making the total $6,500.

You have to have earned income (typically, wages, salary, or business income) in order to contribute to a Roth IRA. You have to have at least as much as you contribute. If you only earned $3,000, then you can only contribute $3,000 to your Roth IRA. You can’t contribute more money than you earned. So if you want to contribute $5,500 to your Roth IRA and another $5,500 to your wife’s Roth IRA, you need to have $11,000 of earned income.

The contribution is still subject to the Roth IRA income limits. In 2015, if you earn more than $183,000 and use the Married Filing Jointly tax status then you can’t contribute the full amount.

Making sure both your and your spouse’s Roth IRAs are fully funded is the second highest priority for your retirement. Keep it up!

Photo used here under Flickr Creative Commons.

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David John Marotta is the Founder and President of Marotta Wealth Management. He played for the State Department chess team at age 11, graduated from Stanford, taught Computer and Information Science, and still loves math and strategy games. In addition to his financial writing, David is a co-author of The Haunting of Bob Cratchit.