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Question: I am looking for maximum allowed contribution to

  • Traditional IRA
  • Roth IRA
  • Traditional IRA and Roth IRA combined

Searched IRS, and it is confusing

Website says

For 2015, 2016, and 2017, 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.

When they say your total contributions do they mean combined traditional and Roth IRA, or do they mean traditional, separate, Roth separate?

I continued searching IRS website, and I cannot find answer I am looking for. Please guide.

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When they say your total contributions do they mean combined traditional and Roth IRA, or do they mean traditional, separate, Roth separate?

Yes, they mean that the amount you contribute to Traditional IRA that year, plus the amount you contribute to Roth IRA that year, cannot exceed that number.

  • Then what if I wish to contribute to only Traditional IRA or only Roth IRA. Is there a limit for each individual contribution (which naturally adds up to $5,500). Or there is no such limit for individual IRA types, anyone can contribute say, $1 to Traditional and $5,499 to ROTH. Please clarify. – Rhonda Nov 26 '16 at 18:55
  • @Rhonda: Yes, if your IRA broker allows contributions as low as $1, you could contribute $1 to Traditional IRA and $5499 to Roth IRA. – user102008 Nov 26 '16 at 19:28
  • Caveat: IF you have fairly high income (this year $184k joint or $117k single, adjusts for inflation) your Roth limit is reduced or eliminated entirely, but you can still contribute to a traditional IRA and convert it to Roth as soon as you like, even immediately; this is usually called 'backdoor Roth' and discussed in other Qs here and many other places. – dave_thompson_085 Nov 27 '16 at 21:11

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