The Upside of a Lower Income

If you lost your job this year, you may now qualify for several tax breaks you couldn't get when you earned more money.

I usually earn too much money to contribute to a Roth IRA. But I lost my job a few months ago, so my 2008 income will be a lot lower than it has been in previous years. Can I contribute to a Roth this year?

That's one of the upsides of a lower income: You may be able to contribute to a Roth IRA and take advantage of other tax benefits this year.

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Kimberly Lankford
Contributing Editor, Kiplinger's Personal Finance

As the "Ask Kim" columnist for Kiplinger's Personal Finance, Lankford receives hundreds of personal finance questions from readers every month. She is the author of Rescue Your Financial Life (McGraw-Hill, 2003), The Insurance Maze: How You Can Save Money on Insurance -- and Still Get the Coverage You Need (Kaplan, 2006), Kiplinger's Ask Kim for Money Smart Solutions (Kaplan, 2007) and The Kiplinger/BBB Personal Finance Guide for Military Families. She is frequently featured as a financial expert on television and radio, including NBC's Today Show, CNN, CNBC and National Public Radio.