Generally speaking, the IRS allows you to make your IRA contribution for a particular tax year up until April 15 of the following year. This rule applies to both traditional IRAs and Roth IRAs, giving you some flexibility in terms of the timing of your annual IRA contribution. You can contribute a total of $5,500 to all the IRAs you own in 2013 ($5,000 in 2012). In addition, if you’re age 50 or older, you can make an extra “catch-up” contribution of $1,000 a year in 2012 and 2013.

Note that you can make your annual IRA contribution in a series of payments rather than in one lump sum. For example, let’s say you want to invest the maximum amount in your IRA for 2013. You can either make a lump-sum contribution of $5,500, or you can set up a savings plan whereby you invest a fixed amount each month in your IRA. Because you’re allowed to spread your 2013 IRA contribution over a 15½-month period (January 1, 2013 through April 15, 2014), you can invest as little as $354.83 per month and still end up contributing the full $5,500.

Contact us today to help you with your retirement planning questions.  Manuel A. Martinez is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ focused on helping families and small businesses in the Charleston and Mount Pleasant South Carolina area.  We provide hourly financial planning services and asset management services.

The following information is reprinted with permission from Forefield, Inc. Copyright 2006-2013.