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A retiree receiving SS takes a short term consulting position & earns $7500, which is the only earned income for the year.

As has been mentioned, your total contribution between the two of you is limited to your earned income. I'm assuming that this consulting income will be self-employment subject to self-employment tax. You get an adjustment to income for half the self-employment tax, and that also reduces your taxable compensation on which to base an IRA contribution.

Bottom line, your maximum combined contribution will be less than $7,500.

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