Yes, an individual can contribute to both a Roth IRA and a Traditional IRA in the same year. The total contribution into both cannot exceed $5,500 for individuals under 50, and $6,500 for those 50 and over. For example, a person can contribute $2,500 into a Traditional IRA and $3,000 into a Roth IRA for the 2016 tax year. Additional conditions must meet IRS requirements as well.
There are a number of factors that should be considered when deciding between these IRA contributions, or potentially a combination of both:
- Whether or not individuals are able to make retirement plan contributions (401(k), 403(b), or other qualified plan) through their company
- Income limits for Roth IRA contributions
- The current tax rate
- Roth IRA and Traditional IRA characteristics
Retirement plan eligibility
If individuals can contribute into their company’s retirement plan (401(k), 403(b), etc.), they should choose these first. Once they make that maximum contribution into their retirement plans, they may want to consider making IRA or Roth IRA contributions. I make this suggestion because company retirement plans have higher contribution limits (401(k)s, for example, carry a current maximum of $18,500) than IRAs / Roth IRAs ($5,500). Retirement plan contributions reduce an individual’s income taxes. If you are unsure whether your company offers a retirement plan, you should contact your HR department or your boss.
If your company does not have a retirement plan, consider the factors below to determine what is right for you.
Income Limits for Roth IRA Contributions
Currently, individuals can make Roth IRA contributions if they have earned income and their taxable compensation is less than $131,000 for single filing or $193,000 for married couples.
Current tax rate
If not eligible to make a retirement plan contribution, an individual can make a tax-deductible IRA contribution, which will reduce his or her income tax. There is no rule of thumb to follow, but I would suggest that those in the 25% tax bracket or higher should make a tax-deductible IRA contribution instead of a Roth IRA contribution. (The 25% tax bracket applies to individuals earning $37,4510 to $90,750.)
The big advantage in making Roth IRA contributions if you are young and don’t mind paying a little more in taxes? Contributions into a Roth IRA grow tax free and all distributions (withdrawals) are also tax free.
Roth IRA and Traditional IRA Characteristics
Contributions into a Roth IRA are after-tax. As mentioned above, assets in these accounts grow tax free and all distributions are also tax free. Contributions into a Traditional IRA, on the other hand, are generally tax deductible, while all contributions and earnings are tax deferred. Once distributions are made, these are taxable. IRAs are required to make distributions to account holders, beginning when they reach the age of 70.5 years.
Contributions into Roth IRAs generally favor investors who are younger, with lower taxable incomes. For example, a Traditional IRA contribution is worth more to a person who earns $100,000 per year than a person who earns $35,000. That’s because the $5,500 contribution saves approximately $1,158 in federal income taxes for the person earning $100,000—and saves $752 for the person earning $35,000. In short, an individual earning $35,000 should consider contributing into a Roth IRA instead.
Yes you can! As long as the total contributed does not exceed $5500 for any one particular year between the Traditional and Roth IRA's.
If you happen to be above the age of 50, you can make a catch-up contribution of up to $6500 into a Traditional IRA or a Roth as well.
One thing I have seen some clients and friends of mine do is actually contribute to a 401(k) and a Roth or Traditional IRA in the same year. In the case of a 401(k), you can stash up to $18,000 a year up to age 50 and after age 50 that increases up to $24,000 a year for a catch-up contribution.
The great thing about those that have a 401(k) at work is that you are able to save into the 401(k) at the limits described above and also contribute to a traditional, or a Roth IRA, in the same year. So those people that are under age 50 can save $18,000 in their 401(k) and $5500 in their traditional or Roth IRA. Those that are above age 50 can save $24,000 a year in their 401(k) and also save $6500 a year in a traditional or Roth IRA as well.
I have a lot of people ask me if they should put all of their contributions into a Roth or a traditional IRA, and honestly, I like to recommend a little bit of both.
I hope this helps, best of luck to you!
President of Brein Wealth Management, LLC in Bellevue, WA
Investment Advisory Services offered through Brein Wealth Management, LLC, a registered investment advisor in the state of WA. Investopedia, LLC & Brein Wealth Management, LLC are not affiliated companies.
Yes; whether your contribution to the traditional IRA will be deductible depends.
Some things to keep in mind for both:
- Contributions cannot exceed $5500 ($6500 if age 50 and over) combined;
- Contributions must be made of "earned income"
For the Traditional IRA:
- If you and/or your spouse are active participants in a qualified plan at work, only a portion of your contribution will be deductible. There are AGI phaseouts;
- If you and your spouse are not active participants in a qualified plan, you can deduct your contributions;
- You cannot contribute past age 70 1/2
For the Roth IRA:
- For single filers, AGI has to be less than $132,000; for MFJ, AGI has to be less than $194,000 in order to contribute. There are AGI phaseouts;
- Contributions are not deductible;
- You can contribute past age 70 1/2
I hope this helps.
The simple answer to your question is yes, you may contribute to both a Roth IRA and a Traditional IRA in the same year. There are some important factors for consideration however.
First, make sure you are eligible to make deductible Traditional IRA contributions or contributions to a Roth IRA. If you are not participating in a workplace retirement plan and have earned income, then you are most likely eligible to make contributions. Keep in mind you cannot make contributions to a Traditional IRA after age 70 ½ no matter what, however, you may still contribute to a Roth IRA if you have earned income.
Second, if you do participate in a workplace retirement plan, then you will most likely be subject to AGI limitations in making contributions to a Traditional IRA or Roth IRA. It is important to verify with your tax advisor to be sure you are eligible. Assuming you are eligible, then you may contribute up to $5,500 ($6,500 if over age 50) in 2016. For example, a 55 year old may deposit $4,000 to a Roth IRA and $2,500 to a Traditional IRA.
As far as what type of IRA makes the most sense for you, that will depend on many different factors. It is important to discuss your overall scenario with a Certified Financial Planner® to determine what the most appropriate course of action is.
You absolutely can. But, given a choice, I would put my money in a Roth because it has more advantages than a traditional IRA. The only situation I can think is if one makes the choice of simultaneously contributing to both traditional IRA and Roth IRA is his/her current income limitation. This is what I would do if I were you.
If you are just thinking about making the two contributions, but in reality you have neither account, then I would do a two-step conversion to Roth. The upshot: you have one account, Roth, which will make your financial life much easier in the future.
If you already have both accounts, make the two separate IRA contributions. But, for the convenience of the future, I would consult with a CFP® and CPA to see if a one-time or multiple Roth conversion deemed necessary or best benefit you. Best!