Can Married Couples Have Separate Roth IRAs?

You may be wondering how getting married this year will impact both your partner’s and your own Roth individual retirement accounts (Roth IRAs). The simple answer? It won’t.

The slightly more nuanced response is that, unless your combined income exceeds the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) income limits for Roth IRAs, you will typically be able to make contributions to your Roth IRA together just as you did before. And filing separately or making contributions to your Roth IRA prior to your wedding day will not get you around that.

Yes, married couples can have separate Roth IRAs. In fact, it’s often a good idea for each spouse to have their own Roth IRA, even if they file taxes jointly. This is because it allows each spouse to contribute more money to their retirement savings and to take advantage of the tax benefits of Roth IRAs.

Here are some of the benefits of having separate Roth IRAs:

  • Increased contribution limits: If you and your spouse both have Roth IRAs, you can each contribute up to the annual contribution limit. For 2023, the annual contribution limit is $6,500 for individuals under age 50 and $7,500 for individuals age 50 or older. This means that a married couple could contribute a total of $13,000 to their Roth IRAs each year.
  • Tax diversification: If you and your spouse have different income levels, you can use separate Roth IRAs to diversify your tax exposure. For example, if one spouse has a high income, they could contribute to a traditional IRA, while the other spouse could contribute to a Roth IRA. This would help to reduce your overall tax liability.
  • Estate planning: Separate Roth IRAs can also be used for estate planning purposes. If one spouse dies, the surviving spouse can inherit the deceased spouse’s Roth IRA without having to pay any taxes on the money.

Here are some things to keep in mind if you are considering having separate Roth IRAs:

  • Income limits: There are income limits for contributing to Roth IRAs. For 2023, the income limit for married couples filing jointly is $218,000. If your income is above this limit, you will not be able to contribute to a Roth IRA.
  • Contribution rules: You can only contribute to a Roth IRA with earned income. This means that you cannot contribute money that you have received from sources such as investments or Social Security.
  • Investment options: Roth IRAs can be invested in a variety of assets, including stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and exchange-traded funds (ETFs). You will need to choose investment options that are appropriate for your risk tolerance and investment goals.

Overall, having separate Roth IRAs can be a good way to save for retirement and to take advantage of the tax benefits of Roth IRAs. However, it is important to be aware of the income limits and contribution rules before you open a Roth IRA.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I contribute to my spouse’s Roth IRA?

No, you cannot contribute to your spouse’s Roth IRA. Each spouse can only contribute to their own Roth IRA.

What happens to my Roth IRA if I get divorced?

If you get divorced, your Roth IRA will be divided between you and your spouse according to the terms of your divorce decree.

Can I use my Roth IRA to buy a house?

Yes, you can use up to $10,000 of your Roth IRA to buy a house without penalty. However, you will have to pay taxes on any earnings that you withdraw from your Roth IRA.

Can I use my Roth IRA to pay for college expenses?

Yes, you can use your Roth IRA to pay for qualified education expenses for yourself, your spouse, your children, or your grandchildren. You will not have to pay taxes or penalties on the money that you withdraw.

What Happens to My IRA When I Get Married?

The “individual” in an IRA is represented by the letter I, and the account remains unchanged even after marriage. However, after marriage, each spouse is able to make contributions to their own IRA up to the annual maximum.

How Do Roth Individual Retirement Accounts (Roth IRAs) Work When Married?

Spouses cannot open a special kind of individual retirement account (IRA). The rule permits non-taxable spouses to make contributions to either a traditional or Roth IRA as long as they file a joint tax return with their spouse who is employed. IRAs opened under spousal IRA rules are not co-owned.

Can My Spouse Have a Roth IRA?

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