|Question: Can I contribute to a Roth IRA?|
Maybe. It depends on your particular circumstances. You must have earned income during the year (typically, wages or self-employment income). Beyond that, your eligibility for a Roth IRA will hinge on two primary considerations: your adjusted gross income for the year and your income tax filing status. In a given tax year, it's possible you may qualify to contribute the maximum amount allowed by law, a lesser amount, or nothing at all. The maximum contribution is $5,000 in 2009 and 2010. In addition, if you're age 50 or older, you can make an extra "catch-up" contribution of $1,000 a year in 2009 and 2010.
Your allowable Roth IRA contribution for a given year may be reduced by contributions made to other IRAs during the same tax year. For example, even if you qualify to contribute the full $5,000 to a Roth IRA in 2010, you will be able to put in only $500 if you've already contributed $4,500 to your traditional IRA for that same year.