Not too late to contribute to a 2001 IRA

Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) have been around for more than 25 years. But a survey last week found that among those 1,003 adults polled who owned IRAs, 62 percent were not aware that they had until April 15 to contribute to an IRA for tax year 2001.

The survey, by Fidelity Investments, also revealed that less than half (44 percent) of Roth or traditional IRA owners polled were aware that they can contribute up to $2,000 in an IRA. (The limit increases to $3,000 in tax year 2002, and to $3,500 for those age 50 and older.)

"The important thing for people to remember is to make a contribution every year, even if you are unable to contribute the maximum amount," said Bob Corcoran, Fidelity's vice president of retirement services. Some IRA tips from Fidelity:

If you plan to contribute for tax year 2001, first check your eligibility for a tax deduction.

Don't think you can't open an IRA because you already have a 401(k). Use every available tool.

Avoid saving for two retirements with one IRA. The millions of single-income couples who file a joint tax return can save for two retirements on one income using IRAs. Single-income couples can use Spousal IRAs to increase overall savings and benefit from extra tax advantages.

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