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My husband is a self emlpoyed farmer, and I am currently a stay at home mom with no earned income. How do we work the "spousal IRA" so that we can both contribute our $2000 each year? Can a spousal IRA be any kind of IRA? Can it be a ROTH IRA?

If you file a joint return, have $4,000 in taxable compensation between you, and are both under 70 1/2, you can each contribute $2,000 to an IRA. If your joint AGI is under $150,000 these can be Roths. You'll find this discussed in IRS Publication 590.

Also, I saw something on a past post about SEP or SIMPLE being a good choice for self employed people. We do have one employee. How does this plan work? Can we, as the employer participate too? Are contribution limits higher with these?

In addition to the IRA contributions already mentioned, the self-employed have a variety of retirement plan choices, including the ones you mentioned. You'll find them discussed in IRS Publication 560.

You can download the publications from

Phil Marti
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