The Roth is kind of weird until you get used to it in terms of how much you can put in (contribute) each year depending on how much you earn (compensation). Because of this you really have two limits, one dealing with your compensation and the other dealing with your contribution. Let me explain.
The first contribution limit has to do with compensation, in other words you have to be making some money somewhere. As mentioned, you must have some form of compensation to qualify to make a contribution, but there is also an income limit that says whether or not you can put money in; make a contribution. If your adjusted gross income exceeds these limits, you are no longer eligible to contribute to a Roth IRA. In 2004, the adjusted gross income limits were:
• If your tax filing status is “Married Filing Jointly” - $160,000
• If your tax filing status is “Married Filing Separately” (and you live with your spouse) - $100,000
• If your tax filing status is “Single”, “Head of Household” or “Married Filing Separately” (and you did not live with your spouse during the year) - $110,000
Now, here is a little known totally legal secret that is worth your time reading this article. When I taught investment at the University of South Carolina I gave 10% credit of the course grade for the simple act of opening a Roth IRA. I was amazed when a few students would not open one because their parents had told them it was illegal to if they did not have a job. I told them that they were going nowhere fast if they could not think creatively enough to just go mow a lawn somewhere for ten bucks and put it into the account. I made it clear to them that wealthy people become so by taking action nut just thinking about taking action!
The best application of this concept I ever learned was a real estate investor that wanted to open a Roth for his newborn son. The problem of proving that a newborn makes money in a job is a tough one even for my noodle but this fellow came up with a great idea. He took a photo of the baby and put it on the business card with the words; “Help my dad finance my education by buying a home from him…he is the best dad in the whole world!” Then he paid the baby, get this…modeling fees! He put those fees straight into the account and filed a return for the baby with the IRS. I love that story! Talk about creative that is the kind of person that will go far in business. This is also the only newborn I have heard of with a tax free stock portfolio from earnings off his own job!
The second Roth IRA contribution limit has to do with how much you can contribute to your account. Below outlines the contribution limits established for the next several years:
• 2004 - $3,000 ($3,500 if you are age 50 and above)
• 2005 - $4,000 ($4,500 if you are age 50 and above)
• 2006 - $4,000 ($5,000 if you are age 50 and above)
• 2007 - $4,000 ($5,000 if you are age 50 and above)
• 2008 - $5,000 ($6,000 if you are age 50 and above)
If you need more information about Roth IRAs, you should consult a tax professional such as a Certified Public Accountant or Certified Financial Planner. You can also get more information directly if you take a look at IRS publication 590 - Individual Retirement Arrangements. Using a Roth is the very best trading account to use while investing in the stock market.
About the author:
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Dr. Scott Brown, Ph.D., a.k.a. “The Wallet Doctor”, is a successful futures trader, real estate investor, and stock investor. Dr. Brown holds a Ph.D. in finance from the University of South Carolina and a Master in International Management from the prestigious American Graduate School of International Business a.k.a. Thunderbird. His 1998 articles in Technical Analysis of Stocks and Commodities were prophetic in predicting an impending stock market crash. He has helped many people become profitable investors teaching them to look out over many years to spot stocks that are low and primed for rise in the new bull market. His second article met with approval by Dr. Bob Shiller of Yale University. Dr. Shiller is the economist that Alan Greenspan most highly regards who coined the term “Irrational Exuberance.” In 1998 he was shouting out to the world to “get out” of the stock market but now he is shouting to everyone that it is time to “get in!” The Wallet Doctor is not only sought after for investment advice and coaching in stock investing but also in futures trading and real estate investing. He also teaches investing in Spanish and Portuguese. For more information visit Dr. Brown’s site at www.BonanzaBase.comor sign up for his investment tips at www.WalletDoctor.com
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