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This one should be easy:

My wife is contemplating not working next year. We both currently max out our Roth IRA's. So while she has no earned income next year, can we (I) still contribute money to her Roth IRA?

Okay, I have another question that might be easy too:

If I was working for a small company that offered no retirement account plans, what options besides my Roth IRA do I have to invest for retirement?

Dozer
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Dozer,

My wife is contemplating not working next year. We both currently max out our Roth IRA's. So while she has no earned income next year, can we (I) still contribute money to her Roth IRA?

Yes. My DW is a SAHM and her IRA has been maxed out for the last few years. You may see the term Spousal IRA, basically if you are married and filing jointly, as long as the total AGI is greater than $6000 ($7000 if making catch-up contributions age permitting) you can both fund an IRA.

If I was working for a small company that offered no retirement account plans, what options besides my Roth IRA do I have to invest for retirement?

Based on your question, I assume you are referring to tax-advantaged retirement savings. Unfortunately, your options are pretty limited. Unless you can convince your employer to offer something along the lines of a SIMPLE-IRA or 401k, your best option will most likely be a taxable account. The only other option I can think of would be annuity but typically those are not an ideal option for most people.

Have you asked your employer about a retirement plan? When I first started with my current employer, which is about 6 people total, I was told there were no retirement plans because the cost was high and it required all employees to participate equally. After doing some research, I found that a SIMPLE-IRA offered a relatively low-cost option and not all employees were required to participate. I have my SIMPLE-IRA with Vanguard and have been extremely pleased. Essentially, my employer was not offering a plan because they were not aware of all the options. So ask around and do a little research at work.

If you opt to invest in a taxable account, try to keep the tax favored investments in that account while keeping non tax-favored investments in your Roth. This may or may not be an issue for you depending on your investment selections.

dt
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, basically if you are married and filing jointly, as long as the total AGI is greater than $6000 ($7000 if making catch-up contributions age permitting) you can both fund an IRA.

Good! I thought so, but recently I heard some things oabout a contributor having to have earned income, but I think this was in relation to a traditional IRS, not Roth.

Based on your question, I assume you are referring to tax-advantaged retirement savings. Unfortunately, your options are pretty limited. Unless you can convince your employer to offer something along the lines of a SIMPLE-IRA or 401k, your best option will most likely be a taxable account.

Have you asked your employer about a retirement plan?


Well, this is a potential employer I am interviewing at. I like the company and job, perhaps if I take the job, after I get settled in I can bring up the subject.

At my last job, it took me a year, but I finally convinced my employer to offer a matching program in with their 401(k).

Thanks for the reply

Dozer
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Dozer,

Good! I thought so, but recently I heard some things oabout a contributor having to have earned income, but I think this was in relation to a traditional IRS, not Roth.

Traditional and Roth IRAs both operate in the same fashion with regard to making contributions on behalf of a spouse without any earned income.

For clarification directly from the mouth of the horse, you can reference Publication 590 from the IRS, specifically pages 4, 10, and 12.

Well, this is a potential employer I am interviewing at. I like the company and job, perhaps if I take the job, after I get settled in I can bring up the subject.

That sounds like a reasonable approach. No sense in rocking the boat before you get settled in to the job.

dt
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If I could add to dt suggestions:

Something that is often overlooked, IMHO, are I-bonds. Yeah, the rates are low, 3%+, but theoretically you get an inflation hedge.

Plus you can never lose principal. Conventional bonds are sold in secondary market so there is the chance of market risk.

You can buy them directly from the government online. It is a neat way to save especially if you can not take the risk of stocks. Plus it is a way to add diversification.

Ibonds provide a tax advantaged method of savings outside of retirement plans.

Hope this helps.

buzman
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