Roth IRA contributions must come from “earned Income”. Social Security is not considered earned income. Interest earned and/or annuity payments are also not considered earned income. If you have earned income and do not exceed the IRS income limitations – your adjusted gross income – you should be able to make a contribution. A lot of “retired” people have alternative earned income. This would not be “part” of your Social Security benefits but mentally a person could consider it so. One thing to keep in mind is there are two thresholds a Roth IRA must meet. The first is you must be over 59 ½ and the second is the new Roth IRA must be seasoned for five years. During the five years, the investments in your Roth will grow tax deferred.
When the five-year mark is achieved, the tax deferment will change to tax FREE. If you are receiving Social Security benefits, you may have already satisfied the age requirement and only have to wait the five years. At this time in your life, you would have to weigh the benefits of a Roth IRA. For personal reasons it may or may not be beneficial but if the intent is to leave the Roth IRA to a beneficiary, it might be. You may wish to consult a tax professional before making this decision.