7 IRA mistakes to avoid

Not knowing your contribution limits

You’re doing a little better than you thought, or you get a one-time windfall, and you decide you’re going to stick a little more into your IRA. It's a great idea — up to a point.

Before age 50, the government says you can contribute $5,500 annually to your IRAs. After 50, the ceiling goes to $6,500 to help you catch up, if necessary. (Those limits may be adjusted annually for inflation.)

Those are total limits for all your personal IRAs. Some people set up more than one IRA, often a traditional IRA, in which contributions up to the limit are tax-deductible (although income restrictions apply), and a Roth IRA, where contributions aren’t deductible but later withdrawals are tax-free.

Diane Pearson, a certified financial planner with Legend Financial Advisors in Pittsburgh, notes it's important to make sure your contributions don’t exceed the limits, but also to be aware of the catch-up provisions if you need to start saving more.