Can I open a Roth IRA for my daughter?


Q. My daughter just got her first job. I want her to invest in a Roth IRA. She doesn’t have a 401(k). She says she can’t afford it. Can I open one for her?
— Mom

A. Congratulations to your daughter on getting her first job.

It’s never too early to start good habits for saving for retirement.

If your daughter is over the age of 18, you would not be able to open an account for her and she would likely need to establish the account herself, said Stephanie Spies, a certified financial planner with Modera Wealth Management in Westwood.

“If you choose, you may be able to contribute to the account directly on her behalf as long as she is willing to share her account details with you,” Spies said.

For 2022, Roth IRA contributions are limited to $6,000, Spies said. In order for your daughter to be eligible for the full $6,000 contribution she must earn at least $6,000 from employment — earned income — and meet other income-related thresholds.

“Trying to save can be daunting, especially when you have your first job and income can be at its lowest,” she said. “Contributing an amount on a regular basis, even if it’s small, can be a great starting place to increase from overtime.”

To encourage your daughter to save, you could “match” her contributions up to a certain amount, Spies said. For example, you could contribute $50 for each $100 she contributes to the account.

“If your daughter is under age 18, you can consider opening a `minor Roth IRA,’” she said. “You can open this account on behalf of your daughter and would maintain control of it until she reaches the age of majority. Contribution limits to a minor Roth IRA are the same as those for a Roth IRA.”

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This story was originally published on April 7, 2022. presents certain general financial planning principles and advice, but should never be viewed as a substitute for obtaining advice from a personal professional advisor who understands your unique individual circumstances.