There are specific requirements for Roth IRAs. See if you qualify.

The Roth IRA is a fantastic retirement investment option that, if used correctly, can result in an ongoing stream of tax-free retirement income. However, not all individuals qualify for a Roth IRA. Use the following as a guide to discover whether or not you can use a Roth.

Roth IRA Eligibility Requirements

The Internal Revenue Service restricts who can use a Roth IRA. As there are different sets of rules for every retirement account (Roth IRA, Traditional IRA, 401k, etc.), it can be easy to get the rules confused.

Roth IRA Income Eligibility

To use a Roth IRA, your income must be under a specific level set by the IRS and modified from year to year. Which level applies to you also depends on your marital status. In addition, the income you contribute must be from work you performed rather than investment or rental income. The specific limits below are based on modified adjusted gross income.

Here are the Roth Income Limits for 2019 contributions:

  • Single or head of household: You must earn less than $122,000 ($120,000 in 2018) to fully contribute to a Roth IRA
  • Married filing jointly or a qualified widow(er): You must earn less than $193,000 ($189,000 in 2018) to fully contribute to a Roth IRA
  • Married filing separately: You must earn less than $10,000 to fully contribute to a Roth IRA. (Note: Those married filing separately can use the limits for single people if they have not lived with their spouse in the past year).

Roth IRA Contribution Eligibility

Anyone with earned income that falls under the above guidelines can use a Roth IRA to save for retirement. How much you can save is dependent upon your age.

If you are under the age of 50, you can contribute $6,000 ($5,500 in 2018) toward retirement in a Roth IRA. If you are married, each individual can set aside  $6,000 ($5,500 in 2018) toward retirement, even if only one partner has a paid job (learn more about opening a spousal Roth IRA). Each partner can contribute up to that limit across any number of Roth or Traditional IRA accounts, rather than per account.

If you are age 50 or older the same $6,000  contribution limit ($5,500 in 2018) applies. However, you are also allowed to contribute an additional $1,000 as a “catch up” contribution toward retirement, for a total of $7,000 ($6,500 in 2018). That also is true for a spousal account, if the spouse is 50 or older.

Read on to learn more about Roth IRA contribution limits.

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