The contribution limit is independent of any other retirement plan that you or your wife may cover, such as a 401 (k) plan. These other retirement plans affect your ability to deduct your contribution for tax purposes, but they don't affect your ability to contribute. Anyone with sufficient earned income can contribute to an IRA. It may not be a deductible contribution, but a contribution can be made.
That leaves many other sources of income that DON'T qualify. For example, items you find on a 1099-INT or 1099-DIV, such as interest income and dividends from stocks or other investments, don't qualify. Rental income and capital gains from the sale of investments or properties are not counted. Neither do pension payments, profit sharing, IRA distributions, or distributions from retirement accounts or annuities.
Also excluded are Social Security, deferred compensation, unemployment compensation, child support, disability insurance income, and life insurance income. If you contribute more than allowed, an “excess contribution” has occurred and will need to be corrected. If you have any questions for Dan, send him an email with “MarketWatch Q%26A” in the subject line. If your parents run out of money and you need to support them, this will have a big impact on your own finances.
Dan Moisand is a MarketWatch contributor and financial planner at Moisand Fitzgerald Tamayo in Orlando, Florida. Visit a quote page and the recently viewed tickets will be displayed here. No, there is no maximum income limit for a traditional IRA. Anyone can contribute to a traditional IRA.
While a Roth IRA has a strict income limit and people with incomes above it can't contribute at all, that rule doesn't apply to a traditional IRA. Yes, you can contribute to an IRA for your unemployed, non-working spouse who files a joint return, but your combined total contribution cannot exceed your combined taxable income or double the annual IRA limit, whichever is less. However, traditional IRAs only have income limits if you or your spouse have a retirement account at work. The ability to make non-deductible contributions regardless of income level makes traditional IRAs a valuable retirement savings account that can be converted into a clandestine Roth IRA.
Anyone can open a traditional IRA, but if you (or your spouse, if you're married) contribute to a retirement plan at work, there are income limits that could restrict your ability to deduct your IRA contribution. You can contribute to a SIMPLE IRA or SEP no matter how high your income is, as long as you meet the eligibility requirements for these types of accounts. Remember that you are also not subject to income limits when you make contributions to a SIMPLE IRA or an SEP IRA; options that are only available if your employer offers them, if you are a small business owner, or if you are self-employed and can open one on your own.