Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

Ask a Fool: Can I Contribute to an IRA for 2019?

By Matthew Frankel, CFP® – Aug 23, 2019 at 12:00PM

You’re reading a free article with opinions that may differ from The Motley Fool’s Premium Investing Services. Become a Motley Fool member today to get instant access to our top analyst recommendations, in-depth research, investing resources, and more. Learn More

The answer depends on a few factors.

Q: One of my goals this year is to boost my retirement savings. What are the eligibility requirements to contribute to an IRA?

Your ability to contribute this year depends on the type of IRA, as well as your income, marital status, and employment situation.

First, to contribute to either type of IRA (traditional or Roth), you need to have earned income. This generally means that your income comes from a job or self-employment, not passive sources like interest. So the first requirement is that your maximum IRA contribution is limited to your earned income or $6,000 ($7,000 if you're 50 or older), whichever is less.

Anyone can contribute to a traditional IRA, but the biggest reason to do so is to be able to deduct your contributions. Traditional IRA deduction eligibility depends on your marital status, income, and whether you can participate in a retirement plan at work.

If you have a plan at work, traditional IRA deduction eligibility begins to phase out if your adjusted gross income (AGI) is above $64,000 if you're single and $103,000 if you're married filing jointly. If you don't have a retirement plan at work, your eligibility is only affected if you're married and your spouse has a workplace retirement plan. In this case, if your combined AGI is greater than $193,000 in 2019, your deduction begins to disappear.

For Roth IRAs, it's more straightforward. Roth IRA contributions are income restricted for everyone. Eligibility to contribute to a Roth IRA starts to phase out for AGI greater than $122,000 for single folks and $193,000 for married joint filers.

Finally, it's worth noting that IRA eligibility is on a year-by-year basis. In other words, if you aren't eligible to contribute in 2019, it doesn't necessarily mean you won't be next year.

The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Invest Smarter with The Motley Fool

Join Over 1 Million Premium Members Receiving…

  • New Stock Picks Each Month
  • Detailed Analysis of Companies
  • Model Portfolios
  • Live Streaming During Market Hours
  • And Much More
Get Started Now

Related Articles

Motley Fool Returns

Motley Fool Stock Advisor

Market-beating stocks from our award-winning analyst team.

Stock Advisor Returns
329%
 
S&P 500 Returns
106%

Calculated by average return of all stock recommendations since inception of the Stock Advisor service in February of 2002. Returns as of 09/26/2022.

Discounted offers are only available to new members. Stock Advisor list price is $199 per year.

Premium Investing Services

Invest better with The Motley Fool. Get stock recommendations, portfolio guidance, and more from The Motley Fool's premium services.