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Contribute to an IRA for Your Spouse

Kimberly Lankford

Boost retirement savings by opening and funding an account for a non-working spouse.



I recently read that, in addition to contributing to your own Roth IRA, you may be able to contribute to a Roth IRA for your spouse, regardless of whether he or she earns any income. Is this true, and are there any restrictions due to income?

It is true. A spousal IRA can be a great way for families with a stay-at-home parent to boost their retirement savings. It's also a good way to keep saving if one spouse has already retired but the other continues to work.

You generally need to earn income from a job to qualify for an IRA. But if you aren't working, your spouse can contribute to an IRA on your behalf as long as he or she is employed.

You each can contribute $5,000 to your IRAs in 2008 (or $6,000 if you're 50 or older) as long as the working spouse earns more than the combined contributions for the year. You also have until April 15, 2008, to contribute up to $4,000 each for 2007 (or $5,000 if 50 or older).

The spousal IRA can be either a traditional or Roth IRA. To qualify for a Roth, the adjusted gross income on your joint return must be less than $166,000 in 2007 and less than $169,000 in 2008.

For more information, see Everything You Need to Know About IRAs.

Got a question? Ask Kim at askkim@kiplinger.com.



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