Ask Terry Questions Spousal Roth IRA

Spousal Roth IRA

By Terry Savage on May 12, 2018 | Financial Planning / Retirement

Good morning. How do I start a Roth IRA? What are the steps? Do I have to go through a bank? My husband has a 401 and I want to start a savings retirement.

Terry Says

Good for you.  Do you work?  If you have earned income, you can contribute $5500 to a Roth IRA (or $6500 if age 50 or older).   And even if you don't work, you can have a non-working spousal Roth IRA of your own, as long as  the couple files a joint return, and the working spouse has earned income that equals are exceeds the sum of the nonworking spouse's contribution plus the working spouse's contribution. This will be your OWN account, despite the fact that the money came from your spouse.  And here's how to go about opening that account.  Go to, and here is the direct link to open a Roth IRA.    As part of opening the account, you will have to pick a mutual fund or two.  I would suggest starting with the S&P 500 stock index fund for half of your money, and the Equity-Income Fund for  the other half.   You can sign up to make regular additional contributions (up to the maximum noted above).  Or you can just contribute the full amount now for this year, and make another contribution every year in the future. Remember, the market will have ups and downs, so don't get scared out.  It's like shopping:  You WANT to buy at lower prices!  Keep it up for the coming years and you will be pleasantly surprised at how your retirement fund grows over the long run -- at least 20 years!

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