Daily Money Tip: Time to set your finances in order for 2014

Posted: February 12, 2014

It's time for some financial housekeeping in 2014. Here are a few questions to ask yourself as you prepare:

Can you still contribute to your individual retirement account (IRA) for 2013?

Yes, definitely. For the 2013 tax year, the last day to open a new IRA or contribute to an existing IRA is Tuesday, April 15, 2014, according to local investment giant Vanguard. Be sure to indicate to your brokerage or investment firm whether your contribution is for 2013 or 2014.

What's the maximum you can put away?

If you're under age 50, the maximum IRA contribution amount for the 2014 tax year is $5,500. You can save even more if you're age 50 or older by making "catch-up" contributions - up to $6,500 for the 2014 tax year. The limits apply to the combined contributions you make to all the IRAs you hold, whether traditional or Roth.

Did you take the required minimum withdrawals from your retirement accounts?

If you're age 70½ or older, you're required to withdraw a minimum amount each year from your tax-deferred retirement accounts, including IRAs (with the exception of Roth accounts) and qualified employer-sponsored retirement accounts.

Once you reach age 70½, your broker should automatically calculate your required minimum withdrawal amount for you each year for your tax-deferred IRAs and employer-sponsored retirement accounts. However, you'll need to contact them to actually make the withdrawals.

Or, to make the process simpler, you can schedule automatic withdrawals. If you don't need the money for living expenses, you can immediately reinvest in a non-retirement account.

Wharton conference

The 10th annual Wharton Restructuring and Distressed Investing Conference will be held on Feb. 21 at the Union League of Philadelphia. For the most up-to-date information on speakers, visit Wharton's website ( www.wrdic.org) or contact Daniel Hung, master's in business administration candidate, Class of 2014 by email:

( danhung@wharton.upenn.edu).

The tickets aren't exactly cheap, but Wharton hosts the largest university-sponsored restructuring and distressed investing conference in the country. Kevyn Orr, who was appointed emergency manager of Detroit in 2013 and charged with restructuring the city, will be one of the key speakers.

For investors curious about how Detroit's bondholders might be treated in the city's bankruptcy restructuring, this could be an important event to attend.



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