The new year is a great time to think about making positive changes for your financial life in 2014, and taking a look at IRAs is definitely one great way to take a step forward. But many people don't know the basics of IRAs.

In the following video, Dan Caplinger, The Motley Fool's director of investment planning, looks at four key facts you should know about IRAs. Dan notes that you can still make an IRA contribution for 2013 so long as you get it done by April 15. Moreover, the amount you can contribute remains the same in 2014, with those under 50 able to put $5,500 in an IRA and those 50 or older getting a higher $6,500 limit. Dan then discusses the tax benefits of IRAs, noting that some people with high incomes and retirement plans available at work aren't allowed to deduct their IRA contributions. Dan concludes by discussing the true value of IRAs, noting that the tax deferral lets you rebalance core portfolio holdings like Vanguard Total Stock (NYSEMKT:VTI) and iShares Russell 2000 (NYSEMKT:IWM) without suffering tax consequences. He also talks about how owning Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX), Celgene (NASDAQ:CELG), and other high-growth stocks in an IRA gives you more flexibility to consider options without worrying about taxes.