By Sarah Brenner, JD
IRA Analyst


I set up a Roth outside my employee retirement plan. I retired on 10-01-2018. I set up an automatic contribution to my Roth IRA from my checking account and, up to this day, still continue to contribute to the Roth IRA . Shall I opt out since I’m retired now? Your advice is deeply appreciated.

Thank you very much.




Hi Ester,

Contributing to a Roth IRA in addition to your employer plan is a great way to increase your retirement savings. Automatic contributions are also a good idea to be sure that contributions continue to be made regularly. There are no age limits on Roth contributions. However, there is a requirement that you have earned income to be eligible to make a tax year contribution. You mentioned in your email that you retired in 2018. If that is the case, and you are not working another job or married to a spouse with earned income, then you would not be eligible to continue with your Roth IRA contributions in 2019. If that is the case, you should stop the automatic contributions from your checking account to avoid excess contributions.



I discovered your website, which is very informative, and would just like to verify what I think is correct for my situation. I recently completed a rollover from a 401K to a traditional IRA (Transamerica to Fidelity).  I would now like to complete a direct transfer of a Roth IRA from Merrill Lynch to a Roth IRA with Vanguard.  I just want to confirm that I can make both of these transfers this year (2019) without having to pay any additional taxes. In addition, if I should decide to do another transfer of a Roth IRA (currently held with Janus) to the Vanguard Roth IRA, would I be able to do this and not be subject to any additional taxes?  I am 68 years old and I’m not yet subject to the RMD required at the age of 70.

Thanks for your help,



Hi Judy,

Moving retirement assets can be tricky. The best way to avoid problems is to do exactly what you have done. Move employer plan assets to IRAs by doing direct rollovers and move IRA assets to another IRA of the same type by doing a direct transfer. With direct transfers and direct rollovers, the funds move directly from one custodian to another. This avoids the tax complications that can come when funds are moved by taking receipt of the funds by doing distributions and 60-day rollovers. Direct transfers of funds between IRAs also avoid concerns with the once-per-year rollover rule. This rule prohibits more than one 60-day rollover between IRAs of the same type during a one-year period.

You can go ahead and move your Janus IRA to the Vanguard IRA. The best way to do this is to do what you’ve already been doing. Do a direct transfer!