Reno CPA Firm - Call us today at 775-332-4200

linked inlinked in blog

Help Your Working Teen Get a Jump-Start on Saving


You may have a teen in your family who holds down a part-time job or works full-time during the summer. You can help your child lay the groundwork for future retirement security early on by encouraging your child to open an individual retirement account (IRA).

You may, or may not, get some resistance, especially if your child has other plans for spending the money. However, you should persist since the benefits can be significant over the long term. Here are some points you can bring up as you make your case.

Savings Can Grow Over Time

When it comes to building savings, your child's age is a major advantage. Given enough time, even a relatively small investment could grow into a significant sum due to the power of compounding. For example, a one-time investment of $6,000 could grow to $110,521 in 50 years, assuming a hypothetical 6% annual return. Invest $6,000 every year for 50 years at 6%, and your child could accumulate over $1.7 million. Of course, investment returns can vary from year to year and are not guaranteed.

IRAs Offer Tax Advantages

As long as your teen does not participate in an employer's retirement plan, contributions to a traditional IRA will be fully tax deductible. (With plan participation, income limits may apply.) Any earnings that investments in the IRA make will grow tax deferred. Your child won't have to pay any income taxes on the IRA funds until they are withdrawn from the IRA.

Contributions to a Roth IRA are not tax deductible, but they can be withdrawn tax free at any time for any purpose. Earnings accumulate tax deferred and can be withdrawn tax free once your child reaches age 59½ and has had a Roth IRA for at least five tax years. Tax-free withdrawals are also available after five years for first-time home buying expenses (to a maximum of $10,000) or on account of disability or death.

Your teen can contribute up to $6,500 to one or more IRAs in 2023 or the amount of his or her annual compensation, if less. The IRS adjusts this IRA contribution limit periodically for inflation. Your child has until the April tax-filing deadline to contribute to an IRA for the prior tax year.

If you would like some help deciding which type if IRA may make the most sense for your teen child, be sure to get in touch with your financial professional.