IRAAs Pension Parameters (and the IRS) reminds us, IRAs are a great way to save for retirement. Some more reminders for 2013, courtesy of the IRS website:

Required minimum distributions

If you’re 70½ or older, you must take a required minimum distribution from your traditional IRA by December 31, 2013 (April 1, 2014, if you turned 70½ in 2013). You can calculate the amount of your RMD by using the RMD worksheets. You must calculate the RMD separately for each of your traditional IRAs, but can withdraw the total amount from any one or more of them. You face a 50% excise tax if you don’t take your RMD on time. If you own only Roth IRAs, you don’t have to worry about RMDs because you aren’t required to take RMDs from Roth IRAs held in your name.

Charitable donations

You can exclude from gross income up to $100,000 of a 2013 qualified charitable distribution, which is:

  1. a distribution paid directly from your IRA (not an ongoing SEP or SIMPLE IRA),
  2. to a qualified charity,
  3. after you’re 70½, and
  4. by December 31, 2013.

You can use a qualified charitable distribution to satisfy the RMD for your IRA for the year. However, you can’t deduct this amount as a charitable contribution on your tax return.