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[[Wait, I'm confused! Which 'spouse' are we talking about in that last sentence refering to a Roth
IRA? Is it the non-working one or the breadwinner who "has to have income to contribute after tax
money to a Roth"?]]

Perhaps I misread the question, Chris. Or didn't provide the best answer that I could. Let me try again.

[[ My understanding is that a non-working spouse (AGI=0) can contribute a fully
deductible $2K to a Trad. IRA or a non-deductible $2K to a Roth (or a mix) as long as the
breadwinner makes enough to cover both spouses' contributions.]]

That's basically correct...BUT...the definition of a "non-working" spouse has been expanded to any spouse that has less than $2k of earned income. This means that even if a spouse has some earnings, a full $2k IRA can be made for that non-working long as the "working" spouse has enough earned income to cover the total contribution.

[[ I also thought the previous (pre-1997 tax year) rules said that non-working spouses were limited to
$250, not $2K.]]

Again, these were the OLD rules. They went out a while ago when the Congress saw how stupid they really were. Now a "non-working" spouse (or...even "limited" working spouse) can make a full $2k contribution as long as the "working" spouse has enough earned income to cover.

Hope this clears it up. If not, please try me again.

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