For Mark Roberts’ Use: Did you max out your retirement plan contributions this year? If so, good for you! You’re earning a valuable tax deduction while also preparing for the future, but you don’t have to stop there. There are other ways to prepare for a comfortable retirement, and one of them offers valuable protection to your spouse as well.

While the wage gap between men and women is closing, we still have a long way to go. It probably won’t surprise you to learn that men and women also experience great differences in their retirement accounts as well as salaries. According to a 2014 study by the Employee Benefit Research Institute, the average IRA balance among women is $81,700. Among men, the average balance is $139, 467… Quite a large difference!

A large part of the difference lies in lifestyle and career choices. Despite the ways in which society has changed over the past few decades, women are still far more likely to postpone their careers in favor of taking care of the family. And of course, we occasionally see a role reversal these days, with men staying home with children while their higher-earning wife supports the family financially.

Whatever your personal family structure may be, one thing is clear: In many families, only one spouse is saving for retirement.

A spousal IRA offers you the ability to set aside more money for retirement, in your spouse’s name. Whether they currently work outside the home or not, you will both need retirement income someday. In addition, if you’re maxing out on your own retirement account contributions, a spousal IRA is a great way to offer protection to your spouse while also taking advantage of an additional savings opportunity.

Of course, a spousal IRA is subject to some procedures and guidelines, just as any other retirement account would be. Give us a call, and we can help you decide whether a spousal IRA is right for your situation.