When I first graduated from college, I made sure to put money away for a Roth IRA. I am very glad to have done that, especially as I do not think I will be contributing to my retirement fund in the next two years. However, if you are a graduate student, can you contribute to a Roth IRA? I was a little surprised to learn that the answer is it depends:
In order to contribute to a Roth IRA, you must have earned income. So if you get paid via fellowship, and get a 1099-MISC at the end of the year, the IRS does not consider it earned income (so no Roth). If you have a part-time job or work full-time and get a W-2, you have earned income and can contribute to a Roth IRA.
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