Personal Investment & Financial Planning Q`s/roth and ssdi

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QUESTION: I am 37 and disabled and receiving ssdi.  It is likely for life, although continuation reviews are every 3 years.  I gross $18k a year.  Can I open a Roth IRA?  I've read so much conflicting info.  Some say SSDI is considered earned income, and would qualify for a roth, and others say it does not.

Also, my wife works and makes just under 100k.  If we opened a spousal IRA, can we BOTH link our bank accounts to it to each contribute to it?

Thanks

ANSWER: Unfortunately SSDI income does not count as "earned" income and therefore doesn't qualify for Roth contributions.  That said, you're right on thinking about the spousal IRA and the IRS doesn't generally care where the contributions come from, so you could each fund it up to the appropriate limits.
Good luck!
Please note that no part of this information should be construed as tax or legal advice; rather, it is being provided for informational purposes only.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: If we opened a spousal ira but only I contributed, would be still be required to file joint taxes?  We prefer separate.

Answer
The IRS generally doesn't care who actually contributes, as long as the account is being funded for someone who is otherwise eligible.  However, spousal IRA's typically are reserved for "Married Filing Jointly" tax status, not "Married Filing Separately."
Please note that no part of this information should be construed as tax or legal advice; rather, it is being provided for informational purposes only.  

Personal Investment & Financial Planning Q`s

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Gregory Ostrowski

Expertise

Expert in the field of personal finance, investing and retirement planning. Cannot respond to questions on specific investments, nor provide tax or legal advice.

Experience

CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ Practitioner & Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor™ 12 Years Experience and Partner of Scarborough Capital Management, a Registered Investment Advisory firm managing approximately $1.2 billion in retirement assets for individuals across the United States

Organizations
Building Traditions Society, Anne Arundel Medical Center Foundation, Current Saint Mary's Annapolis Alumni Association Board Member, Current AARP Lifetuner.org Financial Expert, Past LinedFA Advisory Board, Past

Publications
Wall Street Journal, Essence Magaine, What's UP Annapolis, The Capital, Reuters, Baltimore Business Journal, Washington Business Journal, Kiplingers, The Associated Press

Education/Credentials
BS, Villanova University FINRA Series 7 & 66 Life and Health Insurance License Holder CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ Practitioner Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor™

Awards and Honors
Top 40 Under 40 Registered Investment Advisors by WealthManagement.com Annapolis 40 Finest, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, 2014 Five Star Financial Professional, Baltimore Magazine, 2013, 2014 The Capital's Readers Choice Best Financial Advisor, 2012, 2013

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