The Internal Revenue Service grants special tax treatment to Individual Retirement Accounts, or IRAs, in an effort to encourage retirement savings. Even if you are older than 65, you might still be able to make contributions to these accounts to take advantage of the tax benefits. Different types of IRAs have different qualifications.
Traditional IRAs restrict participation based on age. However, the IRS sets the age limit for traditional IRAs at 70 1/2, meaning that you can still contribute money to your traditional IRA during the years between 65 and 70 1/2. If you are still working, or if you want to continue to reap the benefits of tax-deductible contributions, you may benefit from making addition traditional IRA contributions after turning 65.
Roth IRAs allow contributions to be made by people of any age. However, your modified adjusted gross income must fall below the annual limits. Your modified adjusted gross income includes both earned and unearned income. The limits differ depending on your filing status. However, these limits can change each year based on inflation.
Earned Income Requirements
In order to contribute to either a traditional IRA or a Roth IRA, you must have earned income equal to or greater the amount you contribute to your IRA. If you are not working, you are unlikely to have earned income, so you most likely will not be able to contribute. If your earned income for the year falls below your contribution limit, you can only contribute an amount equal to or less than your earned income.
The IRS allows a higher contribution for people 50 and older making contributions to an IRA, known as a catch-up contribution. If you are 65 or older and eligible to contribute, this applies to you as well. As of 2011, the catch-up contribution amount equals $1,000, making the total contribution limit for IRAs $6,000. These amounts, however, can change over time for inflation.