I am 60+. Can I still make contributions to my Roth IRA in future years if I start taking distributions from my traditional IRA this year?


The amount of money you can contribute to a IRA is based on your age, marital status, filing status and income for the tax year.

The IRS discusses those rules in the Retirement Topics section of their website.

For 2014 and 2015, your total contributions to all of your traditional and Roth IRAs cannot be more than:

  • $5,500 ($6,500 if you’re age 50 or older), or
  • your taxable compensation for the year, if your compensation was less than this dollar limit.

So that means that you can't contribute more than your taxable income, unless:

Spousal IRAs

If you file a joint return, you and your spouse can each make IRA contributions even if only one of you has taxable compensation. The amount of your combined contributions can’t be more than the taxable compensation reported on your joint return. It doesn’t matter which spouse earned the compensation.

Regarding your age:

IRA contributions after age 70½

You can’t make regular contributions to a traditional IRA in the year you reach 70½ and older. However, you can still contribute to a Roth IRA and make rollover contributions to a Roth or traditional IRA regardless of your age.

For the Roth IRA the tax law limits the maximum contribution based on your income and filing status. The maximum income to still be able to make a full Roth contribution can be as high as 181K for Married filing Jointly or as low as 0 if filing as married filing Separately.


Because you are older than 59½ you can make withdrawals from your Regular IRA, and if you or your spouse have taxable compensation you may be able to make Roth IRA contributions. Because the only thing you included in your question is your age you can't get a simple answer. Please discuss this with a tax expert if the IRS documentation doesn't clearly fit your situation.

  • As I remember it, at age 70½ and thereafter when RMDs must be taken from the Traditional IRA, the RMD amount is not eligible to be rolled over to a Roth IRA. If you wish to roll over money from your Traditional IRA to your Roth IRA, you must take an additional distribution over and above the RMD amount (pay taxes on that additional amount too), and then roll over that additional distribution amount to your Roth IRA. – Dilip Sarwate Dec 23 '14 at 14:59
  • @DilipSarwate - right, OP might offer his exact age to help us give him a more precise answer. – JoeTaxpayer Dec 23 '14 at 15:30

As mhoran noted, with earned income you can deposit to a Roth at any age.

For the fact that you're asking about withdrawing from a Traditional IRA but depositing to Roth, I'll suggest you consider the Roth conversion.

Now (still in 2014) convert what you wish, say, $20K. Then in March when doing your taxes, you can see the tax impact and back out (recharacterize) the exact amount you wish to get your taxable income, and perhaps tax due, to the exact number you wish.

I've used this strategy for a decade for my mother in law. 10 years of converting the exact amount to put her taxable income at exactly the top of the 15% bracket each year.

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