NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- The end of 2014 is quickly approaching and investors need to be aware of how the end of the year will affect their investments and retirement accounts. 

For starters, investors should do their best to max out retirement contributions before the end of the year, Ed Slott, founder of Ed Slott & Company, told TheStreet TV's Gregg Greenberg

Also, if you're over the age of 70-1/2, don't forget to take mandatory distributions if it's required. Slott says if these mandatory distributions aren't taken before the end of the year, investors will be subject to a penalty fee of 50% of the distribution amount. 

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So what account doesn't have mandatory distributions? Roth IRAs. Slott reasoned that investors with this account can allow their savings to grow tax-free as well. "If you have tax-free, you'll always have more, because tax-free money grows the fastest," he said. 

And if that's the route you plan on taking, make sure you convert to a Roth before the end of the year. Beginning in 2015, investors will only be able to do one rollover per year. Anymore than that and the account will be subject to taxes, which would completely defeat the purpose, he said. 

Finally, don't forget to update your beneficiary forms. This part of the account usually slips through the cracks and investors generally forget about them. 

But remembering to update this information once a year is very important. "It's like the will for your retirement savings," he insisted. 

In fact, the beneficiary form overrides an actual will. For example, if an investor were to get a divorce and leave the beneficiary form in their previous partner's name, that's who would inherit the proceeds in the event of a death, Slott concluded.

-- Written by Bret Kenwell

Follow @BretKenwell

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