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In general, I believe that a person needs to have taxable compensation to contribute to a Roth or IRA. Taxable compensation is generally defined as: Wages, Salary, Commissions, self-employment income, alimony and separate maintenance. It does NOT include pension or annuity income, or any income which is not taxable.

But I also think there are a few exceptions for spouses of those who have taxable compensation. If your spouse earns taxable compensation, you might be able to contribute to an IRA under certain conditions.

Try asking this same question on the following retirement investing board:

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