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Is it a good idea to contribute $2000 to the Roth IRA in one lump sum or should I do $166 a month for the whole year?

If I am married, filing jointly (on taxes), can my wife have a seperate Roth IRA from mine and contribute the max as well? (We don't make $100,000 yet)

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Is it a good idea to contribute $2000 to the Roth IRA in one lump sum or should I do $166 a month for the whole year?

Generally, the sooner you contribute, the better. On average, the market tends to go up (somewhere in the neighborhood of 11% per year). By waiting, you allow this money to grow unsheltered and expose yourself to unecessary taxes on the gains that occur while you're waiting to deposit the money.
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If I am married, filing jointly (on taxes), can my wife have a seperate Roth IRA from mine and contribute the max as well?

Sorry, forgot your second question...

Yes. You can contribute $2,000 each.
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Well, what works for you?

If you can contribute $2000 without straining your finances, do it -- it'll start compounding faster.

If $2000 would be a strain, make regular smaller payments -- $166 each month, or $500 a quarter, or whatever.

And both spouses can each contribute up to $2000 to an Individual Retirement Account, if you're within the Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) limits.
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Can my wife and I contribute$2000 each to the same account or do we need seperate accounts?
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Can my wife and I contribute$2000 each to the same account or do we need seperate accounts?

IRA = Individual Retirement Account

There's no such thing as a joint IRA.
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TPAAMT: Is it a good idea to contribute $2000 to the Roth IRA in one lump sum or should I do $166 a month for the whole year?

PMcMullenCT: Generally, the sooner you contribute, the better. On average, the market tends to go up (somewhere in the neighborhood of 11% per year).

On the other hand, there are advanages to dollar-cost averaging; since the market doesn't go up in a straight line (as we are all PAINFULLY aware), by buying more frequently, your purchase price will average out over the year. If you buy all at once, you might by on a "peak" or you might buy on a "dip." But, if you buy more often, you'll end up buying "the average." If it is a volatile fund or security, it makes sense to shoot for the average.

Of course, that depends on your transaction cost structure not penalizing lots of small purchases.

ALSO, you really need to have the discipline to send in that cheque every month and not convince yourself, "I really need a big-screen TV for March Madness. I'll raid the IRA fund and pay it back...eventually."

Just another point of view,
JDOyster
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