How to Max Out Your Retirement Contributions

By Sophia Bera

NEW YORK (AdviceIQ) -- Did you contribute all money allowed to your individual retirement accounts last year? Probably not. Here's how to make up for that and save better in 2014.

First, which account to bulk up: your 401(k) or Roth IRA? Contribution limits didn't change this year for Roth IRAs, 401(k)s, 403(b)s for employees of public schools and certain tax-exempt organizations or for savings incentive match plan for employees' IRAs for employers and the self-employed.

The limit did change for simplified employment pension IRAs, for which employers can take tax deductions for discretionary contributions.

Here's the breakdown by account type:

Hitting Roth maximums. If you contribute monthly to your Roth IRA and want to hit the $5,500 max ($6,500 if you're 50 or older), start the year by kicking in $458.33 each time ($542 if 50 or older) or round to $450 a month and throw in an extra $100 sometime during the year.

To contribute to your Roth with each paycheck and aim for the max, the amount comes to $229.16 if you're paid twice a month or $211.53 if paid every other week. Again, you end up a few cents from the max, so adjust your last contribution of the year to make up the difference.

If you're a high-income earner with a workplace retirement plan, verify that you qualify to contribute after recent changes to the phase-out range recent changes to the phase-out range. If your job offers a plan, your tax deduction for traditional IRA contributions phases out if your modified adjusted gross income or how much you make before subtracting deductions falls between $60,000 and $70,000 ($96,000 to $116,000 for couples).