Can I Contribute to a Roth IRA if I Have a 401(k)?
March 26, 2024

When it comes to optimizing your retirement savings strategy, it's crucial to explore all available avenues. One common question that arises for many individuals is whether they can contribute to a Roth IRA while already participating in a 401(k) plan. Let's delve into this query and uncover some insightful information.


Understanding the Differences

First and foremost, let's distinguish between a 401(k) and a Roth IRA. A 401(k) is an employer-sponsored retirement plan that allows employees to contribute a portion of their pre-tax salary into a retirement account. This means that the contributions you make to your 401(k) are deducted from your paycheck before taxes are applied, providing an immediate tax benefit. On the other hand, a Roth IRA is an individual retirement account that allows you to contribute after-tax dollars, with the potential for tax-free withdrawals in retirement.


Contribution Limits

One of the key considerations when determining whether you can contribute to a Roth IRA alongside your 401(k) is the contribution limits set by the IRS. As of 2024, the annual contribution limit for a 401(k) stands at $20,500 for individuals under the age of 50, with an additional catch-up contribution of $6,500 for those aged 50 and older. For Roth IRAs, the contribution limit for 2024 is $6,000 for individuals under 50, with a catch-up contribution of $1,000 for those aged 50 and above. It's important to note that these limits are subject to change, so it's wise to stay updated with current regulations.


Eligibility Considerations

Now, let's address the main question: Can you contribute to a Roth IRA if you have a 401(k)? The answer is yes, you can contribute to both types of retirement accounts simultaneously. However, there are income limits to consider when it comes to making direct contributions to a Roth IRA. For the tax year 2024, eligibility to contribute to a Roth IRA begins to phase out for single filers with a modified adjusted gross income (MAGI) of $129,000 and completely phases out at $144,000. For married couples filing jointly, the phase-out range is $204,000 to $214,000. If your income exceeds these limits, you may still be able to make a backdoor Roth IRA contribution by first contributing to a traditional IRA and then converting it to a Roth IRA, but it's advisable to consult with a financial advisor to ensure compliance with IRS rules and regulations.


Why Consider Both?

You might be wondering why you should consider contributing to both a 401(k) and a Roth IRA. The answer lies in diversification and tax flexibility. By contributing to both types of retirement accounts, you can benefit from a combination of pre-tax and after-tax savings, giving you more options for managing your tax liability in retirement. Additionally, having both types of accounts allows you to hedge against potential changes in tax laws and provides flexibility in choosing which account to draw from in retirement based on your tax situation at the time.


In conclusion, yes, you can contribute to a Roth IRA even if you have a 401(k). However, there are income limits and contribution caps to consider, so it's essential to assess your individual financial situation and consult with a financial advisor to determine the best retirement savings strategy for your needs. By leveraging the benefits of both types of accounts, you can maximize your retirement savings potential and work towards a financially secure future.


And remember, at RetireBetter, we understand the importance of comprehensive retirement planning. In addition to optimizing your 401(k), we also offer IRA account opening services to help you diversify your retirement savings portfolio and achieve your long-term financial goals. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you retire better.