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This questions is for my dad, a Foolish investor, but he knows little or nothing about the Fool. I am a big time Fool, and here is the question: My dad will have no income next year being very retired and happy about it. He's 55 and he still wants to contribute to his Roth, but he knows that only earned income can be invested. If his wife is working, can he place $2000 of her money into his Roth? Can this earned income that must be placed into the Roth be any type of income including investment income as long as it has already been taxed? Eagerly awaiting a Foolish answer,

To the extent that his wife has earned income from employment/self-employment, up to $2,000 can be contributed to each of their accounts. This is conditioned by a rule that the employment income must equal, or exceed, the amount put into those plans.
In addition, if their modified adjusted gross income exceeds $150,000, there is a phaseout from that point on 'til the MAGI reaches $160,000. At that point no contribution to the Roth would be permitted.


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