Spousal IRAs are a missed retirement savings opportunity for couples

Personal Finance

If you’re married, you could be missing out on one way to sock away even more money for retirement.

Spousal individual retirement accounts let you save money toward retirement for a non-working spouse. Individuals can contribute up to $5,500 per year to an IRA. If you’re 50 or over, you can contribute as much as $6,500.

“That’s $5,500 or $6,500 every year that people are leaving on the table,” said Ed Slott, an IRA expert and founder of Ed Slott & Co.

Better yet, there’s still time to make these contributions for 2017, even though the year has ended, Slott said. Those contributions would need to be made by tax day — April 17 — in order to count for last year.

“It’s one of the biggest missed opportunities,” Slott said. “People just don’t think of it.”

Spousal IRAs are subject to those annual limits, as well as other restrictions.

First, one spouse has to have wages or earned income to qualify to put money in either a pre-tax IRA or post-tax Roth IRA.

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