Author Topic: One Maxed IRA or Two?  (Read 2241 times)


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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One Maxed IRA or Two?
« on: October 11, 2014, 12:50:39 PM »
We've been saving up to open up IRAs with Vanguard (VTSMX).

We're not in a situation where we can max out two IRAs, but we might be able to max out one each year. I have enough saved up to either open one and max it out for the year or open two with just the minimum ($3000). Is one of these options better than the other?

I was going to just open one in my husband's name and max it out, but I'm not sure if there is some benefit to each of us having one in our own name.

I'll be quitting work soon to take care of our kid on the way. We're early- to mid-20s. Very intent on saving for a house right now. We get the 401K match with my husband's work already. We're not super interested in early retirement, since my husband enjoys what he does.

Hope that makes sense. Just wanted to make sure I know what I'm doing before I open it/them. Thanks!


  • Senior Mustachian
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Re: One Maxed IRA or Two?
« Reply #1 on: October 11, 2014, 02:23:57 PM »
Is one of these options better than the other?

NatureKnight, welcome to the forums.

The answer to your question is "yes". 

A less smart-alecky response is, "yes, 2 * $3000 = $6000 is better than 1 * $5,500 = $5,500."

But the real answer is "it depends on what you are trying to accomplish." 
  - If you need to save right now for a house, then put $0 in the IRA and accumulate as much as possible as fast as possible for the house.
  - If you can postpone some short term gratification to get a better long term outlook, put the full $17,500 into the 401k and $11,000 into the IRAs.

Don't know your overall situation and plans so I can't get more specific than that.  If you are like most people, you could afford to put more into the 401k and IRAs than you are now.

Good luck!

teen persuasion

  • Handlebar Stache
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Re: One Maxed IRA or Two?
« Reply #2 on: October 11, 2014, 06:55:00 PM »
If you are income eligible for the retirement savers credit, you might get a larger credit if you both have retirement contributions of at least $2,000 each.