Preparing for Tax Day is the perfect time to organize your finances.
Here's an easy question for you: Would you like to retire someday? Now here's a tougher question: Do you know how an IRA works? If you answered "yes" to the first question, then you should also be able to answer "yes" to the second one. In fact, you should learn just about everything there is to know about IRAs, or individual retirement accounts. These simple, easy-to-open accounts reward retirement savers with major tax breaks.
Q: I took money out of an IRA. Can I change my mind and put it back in? A: In many cases, once you’ve pulled money out of the tax-advantaged wrapper of an individual retirement account, you can’t reverse course and pump it back in. But there are a few times when you can do exactly that: usually only within a 60-day window after you took the distribution, and subject to another big hurdle if you are older than 70½.
Until scientists tackle time travel, there’s this: For a couple more weeks, you can go back to last year and make an individual retirement account contribution toward the 2016 annual limit.
Working for yourself has a lot of perks. Being able to save easily for retirement isn't one of them, thanks to the inaccessibility of employer-sponsored 401(k) or pension plans.