Make sure spouses don't get left behind in retirement through spousal IRA

Published: Tuesday, Jan. 8 2013 11:00 a.m. MST

Spousal IRAs help provide retirement funds for both spouses. Two contributions can be made as long as the non-working spouse's fund is not more than the other spouse.

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Stay-at-home moms or dads can be covered under an IRA, according to an article by Money Smart Life.

They're called spousal IRAs and they work for non-working spouses. Fortunately, they don’t require a job or income. As long as one spouse makes enough to contribute to an IRA, the unemployed spouse can make an equal contribution to that of the working spouse’s contribution, the article says.

Both investments are tax deductible for the working spouse. In 2012, the highest contribution that could be made for an IRA was $5,000, but this year it’s been raised to $5,500. And once you’re older than 50, an extra $1,000 can be added, Money Smart Life says.

“For a non-working spouse, $5,500 is a whole lot better than having no retirement plan at all. If contributions can be made consistently for at least 15 years, the account will easily exceed $100,000 by retirement age, taking investment earnings into the mix,” according to the article.

Contributing to a spousal IRA can extend to Roth IRAs, but it isn't tax deductible. Roth IRAs can have withdrawals taken for free as long as you are 59½ or older and it’s existed for five years.

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