When to Start Making Catch-Up Retirement Contributions

Supercharge your nest egg by upping your savings in the year you turn 50.

I turn 50 in January. Can I make a catch-up contribution to my IRA for 2014, after my birthday, because I’ll be 50 before the April 15 deadline? Or do I have to wait until 2015 to start catch-up contributions?

That’s a good question. You have to be 50 by December 31 to make a catch-up contribution for 2014, so you will have to wait until 2015 to make your first catch-up contribution. But you can make the contribution as early as January 1, even if it’s before your birthday.

Catch-up contribution amounts have not yet been set for 2015, but people who are 50 or older in 2014 may contribute an extra $1,000 to their IRAs (bringing their total contribution limit to $6,500) and an extra $5,500 to 401(k)s, 403(b)s and other employer plans (bringing their totals to $23,000). These amounts are usually indexed for inflation every few years.

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Kimberly Lankford
Contributing Editor, Kiplinger's Personal Finance

As the "Ask Kim" columnist for Kiplinger's Personal Finance, Lankford receives hundreds of personal finance questions from readers every month. She is the author of Rescue Your Financial Life (McGraw-Hill, 2003), The Insurance Maze: How You Can Save Money on Insurance -- and Still Get the Coverage You Need (Kaplan, 2006), Kiplinger's Ask Kim for Money Smart Solutions (Kaplan, 2007) and The Kiplinger/BBB Personal Finance Guide for Military Families. She is frequently featured as a financial expert on television and radio, including NBC's Today Show, CNN, CNBC and National Public Radio.