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I just read the FAQ on "All About IRAs", and am still a bit confused about the AGI requirement.

One paragraph states: "In order to make a Roth IRA contribution, you must have earned income. Earned income is generally income that you receive from working as compensation for your labor in one form or another. It's reported to you on a W-2 form, or you file Schedule C (Business Income) with your normal tax return. Earned income generally does not include Social Security benefits, pensions, interest, dividends, rental income, or capital gains."

I was working in 1999 up until October, but then left to stay home with our newborn. So, I imagine that for 1999, I can make a contribution since I had "earned income".

But, does this mean that (if I choose not to go back to work in 2000) that I will no longer be able to make contributions to a Roth IRA (having no earned income)?

-- Or, am I still okay if my husband and I file jointly? (Since he will continue working, and our AGI will be under $100,000)

Many thanks from this new Fool.

Beth
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Congrats on the birth of your baby

If your husband has at least $4000 of earned income then he may make a contribution for himself and you, even if you do not have any earned income for the year 2000.

eric
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Yes, congratulations. I myself just had a son born on January 19th.

Good luck.
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Thanks for the prompt replies and for the congratulations (being a Mom is already great!)...but I think I still need clairfication.

Does this mean, that for 1999 we each can put in $2k

Me: $2K Husband: $2K

but for 2000, I put in 0 and my husband puts $4K into his account?

Me: 0 Husband $4K

or...that, in essence we're both just putting $2K into each account like we did for 1999:

Me: $2K Husband $2K

I guess what I'm really asking is: What does it mean to say that my husband "can make a contribution for himself and you" -- each account has our individual names on them (thus the "I" in "IRA") right? Maybe you phrased it that way 'cause my husband is on the only one making the money? Thus -- he's the one making the contribution on my behalf?

Maybe my brain is already turing to mush!

Thanks again--

Beth
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Greetings, Beth, and welcome. You wrote:

<<I was working in 1999 up until October, but then left to stay home with our newborn. So, I imagine that for 1999, I can make a contribution since I had "earned income".

But, does this mean that (if I choose not to go back to work in 2000) that I will no longer be able to make contributions to a Roth IRA (having no earned income)?

-- Or, am I still okay if my husband and I file jointly? (Since he will continue working, and our AGI will be under $100,000) >>


As long as you file a joint return, you do not have to be working to contribute to an IRA. Only your spouse does. If he has sufficient income (i.e., $4K), then both of you may contribute to your own separate Roths at $2K each.

Regards..Pixy
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My sentiments exactly.
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