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Veteran Services: Finance Questions

Finances

You're working, and you've got a family that depends on you - both now and down the road. Where do you invest your money? Do you borrow against the equity in your house? Through a preferred provider relationship with USAA, The American Legion can provide expert financial advice to just about any question.

Questions & Answers

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Financial Questions & Answers

Question:

My wife has a 401K at work, and we would like to use IRAs or Roth IRAs this year when doing our taxes. Can we both take a $6,000 IRA when doing our taxes? – Robert

Answer:

The fact that your wife has a 401(k) at work does not impact your ability to contribute to an IRA or Roth IRA. However, you do need to have income that exceeds your combined contribution to either IRA ($12,000). Additionally, to be eligible to make a full 2010 Roth IRA contribution, your modified adjusted gross income must be less than $167,000. If you choose to use a traditional IRA, the fact that your wife is covered by a plan at work may limit or eliminate the ability to deduct a traditional IRA contribution.

We like the idea of “tax diversification.” In your situation, that could mean getting some tax benefit today by using your wife’s plan at work – pre-tax contributions – and building a tax-free component to your retirement income stream with the Roth IRA. Although a Roth contribution won’t help your taxes today, it may provide tax relief in the future. If you have questions on deductibility or eligibility, check out IRS Publication 590.