At What Age Can You Open an IRA?

by William Adkins ; Updated July 27, 2017

Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) generally require you to leave money in the accounts until you reach age 59 1/2 (with some exceptions). There are also rules governing the age at which you can open or contribute to an IRA. The rules are different for each type of IRA, so be sure you know the regulations that apply to your IRA.

Traditional IRA

As long as you have earned income, you may open and contribute to a traditional IRA at any age up to 70 1/2. After that, you may not open or make contributions to a Traditional IRA.

Roth IRA

Anyone with earned income can open a Roth IRA at any age. The 70 1/2 limit on traditional IRAs does not apply to Roth IRAs.

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SIMPLE IRA

SIMPLE (Savings Incentive Match PLan for Employees) IRAs are employer-provided plans that work like traditional IRAs. However, you may start one and make contributions after age 70 1/2 as long as you continue working.

SEP IRA

To start a Simplified Employee Pension (SEP) IRA you must be 21 years old. Otherwise, the age rules are the same as for a SIMPLE IRA.

Minors

Except for SEP IRAs, minors may start IRAs as long as they have earned income and they have the consent of a parent or guardian.

About the Author

Based in Atlanta, Georgia, W D Adkins has been writing professionally since 2008. He writes about business, personal finance and careers. Adkins holds master's degrees in history and sociology from Georgia State University. He became a member of the Society of Professional Journalists in 2009.

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