Many people use Roth IRAs to save for retirement. To some people, the regulations and rules of the different retirement accounts can be confusing. Some people want to know if they can have several Roth IRAs.
There isn’t a limit to the number of Roth IRAs you can have. However, you will need to note that the limit to your total contributions is for all Roth IRAs. The limit cannot be exceeded no matter how many you have. The U.S. government sets these limits.
A vehicle for saving for retirement, the Roth IRA was first introduced in 1997, creating an alternative to the Traditional IRA accounts. The main difference between the two retirement accounts is how taxes are done on your contributions.
When you have a Traditional IRA, you make contributions with money that is pre-tax. Taxes are not paid until you take the money from your account later. When you retire and start withdrawing your money, these funds are then subject to income tax.
When you have a Roth IRA, your income is taxed, and then you make the contributions to your Roth IRA. Then, when you withdraw from this account at 59 ½ years old, you don’t pay taxes on withdrawals.
Many people prefer to pay their taxes at the front, as with the Roth IRA, rather than years later. Others prefer to pay the taxes at the end, as with the Traditional IRA. To get an idea of which is better for you, you really should speak with an expert and start proper retirement planning.
There are advantages and disadvantages to having a Roth IRA. Your financial advisor may suggest you open more than one Roth IRA. Some reasons people consider having multiple Roth IRAs are:
When you have several Roth IRA accounts, you have a diversified portfolio in its basic form. Negotiating risk and the ability to make different investments are easy when you use different IRAs. You can have one Roth IRA that is low-risk, one that is mid-risk, and another that is high-risk. There are many ways to diversify, and using your IRAs is one of the simplest.
Some investors may like several IRAs for different savings. One Roth IRA may be for their emergency funds, while another may be for their retirement income.
Leaving some of the IRAs to your loved ones can be done easily with Roth IRAs. You can set them up beforehand and assign each to the loved one of your choice.
The FDIC covers many investment accounts. But when you have a single Roth IRA that gets to $250,000, you are at your limit. This is a major reason people are advised to open multiple Roth IRA accounts. You would aim to keep each Roth IRA balance under this $250,000 limit, so it is fully FDIC-insured.
Even with all these benefits, you will find there can be some disadvantages to opening several Roth IRA accounts. For instance, having multiple Roth IRAs means you will have additional paperwork to get them all set up. It also means more paperwork in managing these multiple accounts and administering funds. You will have extra details to attend to when you handle your taxes.
Having just one Roth IRA account means you won’t have all the administration work and papers to go with the additional accounts. In addition, when you have multiple accounts, you may have several payment fees from different brokerages and firms. These can impact your savings and financial goals.
You should also keep in mind that because you will have to keep track of multiple IRAs, it is much easier to make contribution errors if you have more than one Roth IRA. That could result in penalties from the IRS, as mentioned below when discussing common Roth IRA errors.
If you decide that the pros outweigh the cons of having multiple Roth IRAs, then financial experts suggest you try to keep them all with the same IRA custodian. This will simply make managing the accounts much easier. Of course, if you want different custodians because they use different investment strategies, then it may be worth ignoring this tip.
Additionally, if you have multiple accounts to use varying investment strategies, pay attention to the weight you give to each account. It can be easy to accidentally overweight a strategy that you didn’t intend to by putting your contribution in the wrong account.
You may have as many Roth IRAs as you would like. Keeping them all with one company is one way of lowering fees. This is why it is suggested that you work with a professional financial advisor to make sure you keep your penalties and taxes as low as possible.
Given that there is no limit to how many Roth IRAs you can have as a single person, it makes sense that there is also no limit to the number for spouses. If you are married, each spouse is able to make IRA contributions up to the limit. This is potentially even true if you didn’t have taxable income, but your spouse did. The caveat is that you can’t have combined contributions that are larger than your reported taxable compensation.
Of course, this also assumes that you and your spouse file a joint return. If you file separately, the Roth IRA rules are identical for any other person filing separately.
Like most brokers and investment companies, Vanguard doesn’t limit how many Roth IRAs you can have.
If you aren’t careful, you can make costly mistakes when investing in a Roth IRA. These can include either penalties or missing out on potential gains. Here are some of the ways problems crop up. With your knowledge of the issues, you can work to avoid them.
Your Roth IRA can grow funds without taxes. If it isn’t invested correctly, you won’t be able to take advantage of this feature. For instance, if you place your money in municipal bonds, you may miss out.
There are some things you need to remember, such as the fact that your account will need to be open for five years before you can make any withdrawals. You must also meet some other requirements such as:
Pay attention to those rules, as unqualified earnings are subject to 10% penalties. That can significantly cut into your savings.
The Roth IRA 5-year rule outlines when you can make qualified distributions (without penalties or taxes) of your investment earnings. Specifically, it says that the cost basis of those earnings has to have been in your account for five years or more. As you can imagine, following this rule requires careful planning and organization.
If you are under 50, the maximum annual limit to contribute to your Roth IRA is $6,000. It is no more than $7,000 if you are over 50. This is across all Roth IRA accounts combined. This comes from the fact that the IRS treats all of your Roth IRAs as a single Roth IRA, regardless of how many custodians or accounts you have.
What happens if you have multiple Roth IRAs and decide you want the convenience of only managing one? You can fix this by rolling over the amounts. You can even roll over Traditional IRAs into Roth IRAs, although you will probably have to pay taxes if you do so.
When you have both a Roth and Traditional IRA, you can maximize your savings. This is accomplished because of the tax implications each has. With taxes being deferred at different times, you get unique advantages with each account.
Opening several Roth IRAs is the right solution for many investors. This is especially true for those that need to do so for insurance purposes. In order to know if this is the right financial decision for you to make, you should discuss it with a professional. There are a few disadvantages, but most relate to keeping it all organized. Once you can tackle this, multiple Roth IRAs may help you solve many financial challenges by offering simple solutions.