Is it permissible for a 70-year-old person to buy an IRA?

By Denise Appleby AAA
A:

It depends. For Roth IRAs, there are no age restrictions. For Traditional IRAs, there are no age restrictions if you are establishing a new IRA to which you will transfer or roll assets from another IRA or eligible retirement plan, such as a qualified plan, 403(b) account or 457(b) account.

However, if you are establishing a new Traditional IRA to make regular IRA participant contributions, then you are allowed to make a participant contribution, provided you do not reach age 70.5 in the year you make that first contribution. You may use the following as a guideline for the year you turn age 70:

If your seventieth birthday occurs anytime from January 1 to June 30 of the year you want to begin contributing to a Traditional IRA, then you will reach age 70.5 by year-end; as a result, you are not allowed to make an IRA participant contribution to a Traditional IRA for that tax year.

If your seventieth birthday occurs anytime from July 1 to December 31, then you will not reach age 70.5 by year-end; therefore, you are allowed to make an IRA participant contribution to a Traditional IRA for that tax year.

If you are not eligible to make a participant contribution to a Traditional IRA, talk to your tax professional about making a contribution to a Roth IRA instead. He or she can help you determine if this alternative suits your financial profile.

This question was answered by Denise Appleby (Contact Denise)

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