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Situation: My wife has a great 401(k) program at her work. My employer doesn't offer any retirement perks. Can I simply contribute to my wife's account instead of opening my own IRA? Can she declare her account joint? If so are we allowed to contribute more than $10k cap? Is the cap $10k??

OK I admit, I need more education on this. Any advice or links to joint retirement info would be greatly appreciated!

Also I'm puzzled why most married couples wouldn't want to have a joint retirement account, wouldn't the bigger balance increase your overall growth and earnings?

Thanks Guys!
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Situation: My wife has a great 401(k) program at her work. My employer doesn't offer any retirement perks. Can I simply contribute to my wife's account instead of opening my own IRA? Can she declare her account joint?

In a word, no. DW's 401k contributions can come only from her paycheck deductions.

If so are we allowed to contribute more than $10k cap? Is the cap $10k??

The cap is $13k, income permitting.

OK I admit, I need more education on this. Any advice or links to joint retirement info would be greatly appreciated!

Also I'm puzzled why most married couples wouldn't want to have a joint retirement account, wouldn't the bigger balance increase your overall growth and earnings?

Here's a link:
http://www.fool.com/Retirement/Retirement02.htm
There's a link:
http://www.fool.com/school/13steps/13steps.htm?ref=SchAg
Every where a link link:
http://www.fool.com/60second/401k.htm?source=PFinAg

Fuskie
Who invests in EIEIO...
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I'm puzzled why most married couples wouldn't want to have a joint retirement account.

401-k's are offered or not by each employer for its employees. "Outsiders" may not contribute. Hence, you cannot put your money in her account - it's a benefit they offer to her as an employee.

The reason married couples do not have joint IRA's is because they don't exist. IRA stands for Individual Retirement Account. They cannot, by definition, be joint. She can name you as her beneficiary of her IRA (and you can do the same for her) but you cannot comingle your money in a single account.

Check our Fuskie's links and come back with any more questions you come up with.

hope his helps
3MM
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Thanks you guys! That clears up a lot. So to summarize, the two major investment vehicles available (401(k) & IRA) for retirement will grow individually and there is no way around it. If I want a joint investment then we can put a chunk of our income into something else after our retirement plans are setup.

BTW - we came to find out that her employer doesn't actually offer a 401(k). They offer an "Individual Investment Plan" without employer matching. So it's identical to going to Vangaurd (or some other broker) and opening an account ourselves there.

After reading most of the Retirement section of the fool (thanks Fuskie), I think that to start off my wife and I will consider the following.

Roth IRAs from Vangaurd invested in an Index fund. We will divert 10% of our incomes initially and increase it until we are slightly uncomfortable with the pinch on our current fun-money.

So my question is how can I be sure that my Roth IRA account is free of as many fees as possible? Will I get a clear cut statement every month or will I need to watch out for specific terminology at the beginning (mainly the word “fee”)? Is Vangaurd as good a place as any? What does NoLoad mean?

You guys rock!
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This post will answer my questions about fees -
Subject: Roth IRA fees ? http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=21101319

Thanks again guys.
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