Good to know: The Roth IRA and the graduate student

by hedy on April 13, 2012

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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Emily @ evolvingPF April 15, 2012 at 8:04 pm

I’m glad you found the information in my post helpful! It’s a pretty crazy situation.

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