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Your kids can't fund an IRA unless they earn money themselves. But they don't have to fund their accounts with their own money. As an example of this, let's suppose your 15-year-old son had a part-time job last year. You could fund his IRA up to $5500 or his total earnings whichever is less. In this case your best option would be a Roth IRA. This is because he’s probably in a low-income tax bracket and wouldn't need the deduction offered by a traditional IRA. However, 50 years from now as he is nearing retirement a single contribution of $5500 if left alone will have increased to more than $160,000 – assuming a 7% annualized return.
Are you self-employed?
If you work for yourself it doesn't make any difference whether you work full-time or are a freelancer on the side. You will qualify for a simplified employee pension plan or SEP–IRA. This can be much better than a traditional or Roth IRA because you could contribute up to as much as 25% of your qualified earnings to a maximum of $52,000 (as of last year). Plus, you could wait until October 15 to make a contribution for 2014 if you were to file for an extension on your income tax. This is also better than either of the other two types of IRAs as the final day you could make a deposit in either of them for 2014 is April 15 whether you file on that day or get an extension.
Get started saving this year
You don't have to wait until April 15 of next year to make a contribution this year. In fact if you delay, this could mean you're missing out on more than a year's worth of tax-free compounding. So don't get stuck standing at the gate. Start making contributions now. Your 55- or 65-year-old self will thank you.