This combination of tax-free growth and tax free distributions makes the ROTH IRA an especially powerful retirement account. Plus, with the ROTH IRA, you get to make contributions at any age and there’s no mandatory withdrawal age.
By comparison, if you have earned income, you can only put money into a traditional IRA up until the year you turn 70 ½, and you must begin taking distributions from Traditional IRAs beginning at age 70 ½.
In 2010, IRA contribution limits for both traditional and ROTH IRAs are $5,000, plus an additional $1,000 for those 50 an older.
Starting in 2010, to be eligible to contribute to a ROTH IRA, your modified adjusted gross income must be less than $177,000 for married taxpayers filing joint returns, and less than $120,000 for single taxpayers.
Also noteworthy is that as of 2010, several important changes have occurred impacting Individual Retirement Accounts.
First, you no longer have to worry about whether you’re eligible to convert a Traditional IRA to a ROTH IRA due to your income level or your tax-filing status.
That’s because previous rules that restricted conversions/rollovers based on income limits and filing status requirements were eliminated effective 2010.
More importantly, the financial sting of doing a rollover has been greatly reduced.
In years past, a rollover was considered taxable income in the year you did the rollover.
However, for any 2010 rollover from a Traditional IRA to a ROTH IRA, any amounts that would be included as income can be spaced out over two years: in equal parts in 2011 and 2012.
This would effectively knock in half any tax bill generated by doing a rollover. The law also still gives you the option of including the entire amount in income in 2010.
But most people doing rollovers will want the benefit of spreading that conversion income over two years and deferring taxes in the process.
Lynnette Khalfani-Cox, The Money Coach®, is a personal finance expert, speaker, and author of 15 money-management books, including the New York Times bestseller Zero Debt: The Ultimate Guide to Financial Freedom.
Lynnette has been seen on more than 1,000 TV segments nationwide, including television appearances on Oprah, Dr. Phil, The Dr. Oz Show, The Steve Harvey Show, Good Morning America, The TODAY Show and many more.
All information on this blog is for educational purposes only. Lynnette Khalfani-Cox, The Money Coach, is not a certified financial planner, registered investment adviser, or attorney. If you need specialty financial, investment or legal advice, please consult the appropriate professional. Advertising Disclosure: This site may accept advertising, affiliate payments or other forms of compensation from companies mentioned in articles. This compensation may impact how and where products and companies appear on this site. AskTheMoneyCoach™ and Lynnette Khalfani-Cox, The Money Coach® are trademarks of TheMoneyCoach.net, LLC.