Non Working Parents and Retirement

Updated on March 29, 2012
M.L. asks from Spokane, WA
11 answers

So, having recently finished the taxes... I know there are tax breaks and such on having certain retirement funds. The one my husband has doesn't work this way. But I was thinking... what about stay at home moms/dads? Should we also be putting monthly money away for our own personal retirements... say if something happens to our spouses and we are left alone. I understand social security may or may not be there... and even if it is, it isn't that great of a monthly allowance, then there is always life insurance... but again not every one will have great coverage, so should we non-working parents have retuirement savings? If so, how much should we be putting in there, how often?

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answers from Pittsburgh on

It's best to MAX out t(fully fund) he retirement plans (IRA's etc) because tat money is NOT taxed until you take it out. And since you can deposit a set amount PER PERSON (5K each I think), then all the better IF you can swing it!

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answers from Albuquerque on

Of course you should! Retirement savings aren't just for working people... because we'll all need money when we're older. You and your husband should be contributing to IRAs for each of you -- as much as you can up to the cap of $5,000 per person per year. Even if your husband is around your entire life, why not take advantage of the tax savings available to both of you through IRAs? It will benefit you both in the long run.

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answers from Minneapolis on

Yes, you should be planning for your retirement. I would suggest meeting with a financial advisor to determine how much you need to be putting aside to prepare for your needs.

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answers from Kansas City on

I think it's important for everyone to save for retirement! My husband has some sort of plan through work but I am a freelancer (and business is SLOW) so I'm on my own to save something, too. I have two mutual funds that I contribute to monthly. It's not very much but whenever I do get some extra funds I can increase that contribution. I figure a small amount is better than nothing, right?

Our original plan was to use money I made towards a 529 college plan for our son. I hate to say this, but there are loans for college, not for retirement! So we switched directions and at the moment, plan for retirement instead. C'mon scholarships!

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answers from Dallas on

Yes it is important for SAHM and dads to be contrubuting to retirement funds. What you put in depends on your financial status and what you can afford.

There are tax breaks for putting money in by April 15.

I can't help you decide what to put in but thinking realistically, one will need approximately 2 Million dollars of investments and funds availability ro be able to retire ok.

As for college funds,, we knew when I got pregnant that we had an obligation to get this child through college debt free and we started saving for that before she was born. She is 17 and has her pick of schools at the moment.

Retirement is extremely important and so is college funding. Do as much as you possible can. We believe in delayed gratification and no debt. Debt is evil. We've not done a lot of things that could have been fun in order to fund our retirement and her college.

We are now reaping a lot of those benefits.

If you are not familiar with numbers and comfortable with diversified investing, please, talk to a professional and get on a good track now.

Best wishes to you.

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answers from St. Louis on

When I was a stay at home we put 20% in our 401k, trust me when I divorced I got half! Granted I took it in my home but none the less I have it.

Just because your husband doesn't get a tax break for his doesn't mean you shouldn't fund it better.

Another option is taking out 10,000 in IRAs, 5,000 for each of you is the max. You could actually take out 10,000 for 2011 until April 15th of this year. It is the only tax deduction you can take in the current year for the previous year's taxes. What it would do is reduce your taxable income by 10,000 for last year so say your marginal tax rate is 25% you put 10,000 in an IRA and get an extra 2,500 in your refund so pretty much you would already have earned $2,500 on your investment. Not bad for a days work! :)

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answers from Chicago on

We have yet to start putting money in an IRA for me. It's not on the top of our priority list. We do max out the 401k, and we have modest college funds.

ideally, you max out what is allowable in 401k and IRAs.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

I don't handle the investments--I've tried to be interested, but I'm just not...I do our daily finances. However, I am a SAHM and I know we put money into some sort of investment account for me.

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answers from Austin on

Find someone to recommend a good financial adviser. They can look at your needs, lifestyle preferences, etc. and tell you how much and where to put your money. Good for you for looking toward the future! Your kids will appreciate not having to take care of you and their children as you age.



answers from New York on

Absolutely, you should have a retirement account.



answers from College Station on

Absolutely! We do it. My DH has a 401K at work AND we put into a Roth IRA for him (Not tax free now, but tax free when we draw on it) and a traditional IRA for me. We cannot afford to put in the maximum ($6,000), but we put in at least half that amount each. You can do this contribution yearly. The traditional IRA is tax free.

If your spouse has a 401K at work, he CANNOT put into a traditional IRA. He HAS to put into a Roth. You pay taxes on that money now, but when you draw on it in retirement, you DO NOT pay taxes on it. You get the 401K investment tax free, so the govn't doesn't give you the IRA tax free.

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