If your earnings from work are too high, you can't contribute at all. Traditional and Roth IRAs allow you to save money for retirement, and a Gold IRA comparison can help you decide which option is best for you. This graphic highlights some of their similarities and differences. People with traditional IRAs should start receiving the required minimum distributions when they turn 72, but there is no such requirement for Roth IRAs. However, keep in mind that your eligibility to contribute to a Roth IRA depends on your income level.
If you don't earn anything in a tax year, you won't be able to contribute to your Roth IRA for that year. 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. The account holder can maintain the Roth IRA indefinitely; no minimum distributions (RMDs) are required over its lifespan, as is the case with 401 (k) and traditional IRAs. In addition, participating in a qualified retirement plan has no influence on your eligibility to make contributions to the Roth IRA.
Those who don't need their Roth IRA assets when they retire can let the money accumulate indefinitely and transfer the assets to their heirs tax-free in the event of death. While Roth IRAs are often considered retirement accounts and are most often used this way, there are no limits to who can contribute to them and when (as long as they meet the above income requirements). For a self-directed IRA, you'll need a qualified IRA depositary who specializes in that type of account, allowing for assets beyond typical stocks, bonds, ETFs, and mutual funds. People who expect to be in a higher tax bracket once they retire may find that the Roth IRA is more advantageous, since the total tax avoided during retirement will be greater than the income tax paid today.
For people who anticipate that they will be in a higher tax bracket when they are older or have retired, Roth IRAs may offer a beneficial option, since the money is not taxable, unlike withdrawals from 401 (k) accounts or a traditional IRA. All regular contributions to the Roth IRA must be made in cash (including checks and money orders) and cannot be made in the form of securities or property. Consider opening a Roth IRA instead of a traditional IRA if you're more interested in earning tax-free income when you retire than in a tax deduction now when you contribute. Some open Roth IRAs or convert them into Roth IRAs because they fear an increase in taxes in the future, and this account allows them to set current tax rates on the balance of their conversions.
Using this definition of compensation, if your income is above the Roth IRA limit or is zero for a tax year, you won't be able to contribute to a Roth IRA for that year.