Roth IRA but will not be working anymore??
February 7, 2010 9:28 PM   Subscribe

Can I keep my Roth IRA if I'm not working anymore?

I work for my husband at his small business but now I want to be a stay at home Mom. What happens to my Roth IRA? Can I keep contributing to it? We do our taxes jointly, but I just will not be working at his Chiropractic business. He will be alone for a while, maybe someday I would work with him again. Will the Roth IRA no longer be valid? Or can I just keep paying into it?

posted by lynnie-the-pooh to Work & Money (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
If you file jointly you can continue to contribute to your Roth as long as the combined income for you and your husband is within the contribution limits and your combined earned income is not less than the total amount both of you are contributing to your IRAs. (See here). Even if you did not meet these requirements you could continue to keep your Roth, you just wouldn't be able to contribute to it.
posted by phoenixy at 9:37 PM on February 7, 2010

IRS Publication 590 has everything you need to know about Roth IRAs. Specifically, see the Spousal IRA sections.

Quick answer: you can contribute $5,000 each assuming you file jointly ($10,000 total). The limit increases to $6,000 if either of you is over 50 years of age. So $11,000 total limit if one of you is over 50; $12,000 limit if both of you is over 50. Note that you can never contribute more than your joint income.

You can always keep your Roth IRA open, even if you both cease to make any income. You just cannot contribute to it.
posted by jckll at 9:08 AM on February 8, 2010

Response by poster: So if I become a stay-at-home Mom, I cannot put any more money into the Roth IRA?
posted by lynnie-the-pooh at 10:29 AM on February 8, 2010


Roth IRA contribution limits work as follows: You may contribute up to $5,000 OR 100% of your income, whichever is smaller. So if you make $4,275, you can only contribute $4,275 (max, you can of course contribute less). If you make any amount over $5,000 you can contribute $5,000.

If your joint income is over $10,000, you can each contribute the full $5,000.

If your joint income is less than $10,000, you can contribute a total of up to 100% of your joint income, distributed between you and your spouse however you choose. However, neither of you can contribute more than $5,000 (the hard limit).

If you are over 50 years of age, change every $5,000 above to $6,000, but the rule is the same.
posted by jckll at 11:45 AM on February 8, 2010

Sorry, "no" was not an answer to your question. "No, you are wrong -- you can continue to contribute, depending on your income"
posted by jckll at 11:45 AM on February 8, 2010

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