IRA Kids Logo
IRA Kids: Invest Early, Benefit for Life Images of money and investing for kids

More about Roth IRAs
Benefits - Limitations
IRAs and Financial Aid
College Savings Plans

   Educational Tools
PowerPoint by Hannah
Articles for Free Reuse
Compound Interest
Keeping Records
Paying Taxes
Print a Poster
Quote - Unquote

Parents and Guardians
Financial Services

Contact Us
Advisory Board
Link to This Website
Site Map

   Optional Homepages
Roth IRAs for Children
Roth IRAs for Minors
Roth IRAs for Kids - pt 2
Article - Income Types
Roth IRAs for Kids - pt 3
Article - Advantages

Change Font Size:
Increase font size Decrease font size Restore default font size
 Roth IRAs for Children: Learn Why Children Should Have Roth IRAs
Poster promoting awareness of Roth IRAs for kids, IRAKids Clubs, and

"I’m 16 years old. With Roth IRAs (Individual Retirement Accounts), kids like me can become millionaires and take control of our financial future.

For my generation, Social Security benefits and employer contributions to our retirement plans are uncertain, while inflation will push us into higher tax brackets. We can confront these negative probabilities with the only positive option that exists for us today – Roth IRAs.

"If past market experience continues, investing early in Roth IRAs will mean compounding of our investments up to seven or eight times by the time we retire, and all that growth will be tax free. Furthermore, we can withdraw the funds upon retirement tax free, regardless of our tax bracket at that time.

"Beginning to invest early also provides financial literacy education that should make us better investors for life. And children have certain investment advantages not available to adults. Those benefits and Roth IRAs give children a financial head-start in life." -- Hannah --

Hannah on the PBS program BizKids discussing Roth IRAs for kids and the power of compound interest.

Hannah on the PBS Program BizKids
Discussing Roth IRAs for Children and the Power of Compound Interest

(Click title to view video via YouTube; click image for a larger version.)
The BizKids website contains many more videos of interest to young entrepreneurs.

Hannah's PowerPoint presentation on Roth IRAs for Kids.

Hannah’s PowerPoint Presentation on
Roth IRAs for Kids
(Click image or title to view the presentation)
Download Hannah’s presentation.

Roth IRAs (Individual Retirement Accounts) for Children

Roth IRAs (Individual Retirement Accounts) are funded with after-tax dollars, but grow tax free and all withdrawals are tax free after 59 1/2 years of age (assuming the Roth has been owned for five years or more). When children establish Roth IRAs early, the Roth's have extraordiary growth potential -- all tax free.

ROTH egg from the Burback City Federal Credit Union.

According to sources cited elsewhere on this website, children can establish Roth IRAs as early as age seven (really, as soon as they are old enough to have legitimate earned income). They can invest every dollar of earned income, after taxes (up to $5,000 in 2010 and 2011) in the Roth IRA. Also in most cases, the child's standard tax deduction may eliminate the need to pay income taxes on that earned income. (See Footnote below)

The resulting money invested in the Roth IRA can grow tax free for the balance of the child’s life. (See More about Roth IRAs). And the parent/guardian still can claim the child as a dependent on income tax forms if the child is under 19, lives with the parent or guardian, and has not provided more than half of his or her own support for the year. (Consult your tax advisor to determine your maximum Roth contribution and tax liability.)

Compound Growth of Roth IRAs

Dramatic growth of compound interest.

Children also benefit tremendously from “compound growth”. During the last 80 years, the stock market has doubled every seven years for an average of 8% growth per year. If those averages continue into the future, a child's investment will double EIGHT times between age 9 and 65 – seven times between age 16 and 65.

If you open a Roth IRA with an initial deposit of $600, and then add $50 per month, with annual interest of 10% (compounding monthly), at the end of 50 years you will have a balance of $953,441 -- $922, 841 of which comes from compound growth. Consider that your total investment – spread over 50 years -- is just $30,600 – the price of a new car today and the cost of buying that new car will be spread over a much shorter time frame.

For much more information, additional examples, and compound interest calculators, please see: Compound Growth and Roth IRAs – A Key to Future Wealth.

Learning Early to Save and Invest Wisely

The benefits do not end there. In addition to learning to save and invest early, children will learn the differences between needs and wants – to make informed decisions as to how they spend their money – a benefit that should last a lifetime. Children have the opportunity to learn how stock markets work, and, more importantly, how to make good investment decisions. Also, they can take greater risks with their investments seeking greater long term returns – because they have more time to recover from any investment mistakes they make – and all that contributes to their education as an investor for life.

Learning Through IRAKids Clubs

Meeting graphic from Quarryville Library, Quarryville, PA.

This website encourages children and their parents or guardians to form local IRAKids Clubs – which are a special form of investment club. PARENTS, ask your bank or credit union or investment advisor or accountant to “sponsor” an IRAKids Club – and help conduct educational and fun meetings. For more information, please see IRAKids Clubs on this website.

529 College Savings Plans and Coverdell Educational Savings Accounts (ESAs)

Graduation cap.

Roth IRAs are not 529 College Savings Plans or Coverdell Educational Savings Accounts (ESAs), although, like Roth IRAs, both are funded with after-tax dollars and both grow tax free. For more information on these plans, please see: College Savings Plans.

Footnote: The earned income for the Roth can be either wages or self-employment income. If the income is less than the standard deduction (greater of $950 or $300 plus the kid's earned income, up to $5,700 in 2010), a child would not pay any income tax.

However, if a child has more than $400 in self-employment income (not W-2 income), he or she will have an obligation to pay self-employment taxes, which are about 15% of self-employment income, and are in addition to income tax. (Self-employment taxes are Social Security and Medicare taxes.)

So children could have no income tax to pay if they fall under the standard deduction, but they still may have self-employment tax to pay.

Jump to top of page  Top Link to this page  Link to this page