I don’t have a steady job or regular income but am trying to save as much as possible. Can I open a Roth IRA with $1,500 and contribute a minimum of $1,000 a year as an annual lump sum?
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That depends. You must have “earned” income in the year you want to open and/or contribute to a Roth. That’s generally income from wages, salary or a business you run. If you make up to $5,000 in earned income in a year, you can contribute an amount equal to your earned income. If you earn more than $5,000 (and less than the Roth eligibility thresholds) in 2012, you can contribute $5,000 a year ($6,000 if you’re 50 or older). Alternatively, if you don’t have any income and you’re married, you can contribute based on your spouse’s earned income.