Few of us need less money in our retirement accounts. Most of us enjoy the tax benefits we get from retirement accounts. Americans, in general, do a terrible job of saving for retirement. Some say the IRA, Roth IRA and other similar accounts were created to give us an incentive to do a better job. The tax advantages of these accounts make it more attractive to sock away money every year. These accounts were also set up with deliberate penalties, so people wouldn’t raid their accounts every time they needed a few extra dollars.
If you are among those who work for companies that have a retirement savings plan match, make the most out of it. If you put in the annual percentage or amount your plan requires, your employer will match that contribution. Most workers walk away from this money. However, it’s free money!
Employees usually are offered a 401(k), 403(b) or 457 plan from their employer. The financial institution is already chosen, the money is automatically taken out of your paycheck and often you can only make decisions about what kind of funds you can select at certain times of the year. In 2018, you can contribute up to $18,500. If you’re 50+, you can make an additional $6,000 contribution, known as a catch-up contribution.
Self-employed? You need a retirement plan more than someone who works for a company. Self-employed people have many more options. If you need help, talk to your CPA. There may be some plans that are better suited or have more tax advantages than others.
For self-employed people, the basic choices are the solo 401(k) for a sole proprietor or someone working with their spouse. You can make contributions as both the employer and the employee. You could contribute as much as $55,000 in 2018 (or, if you are 50+, $61,000). Your total contributions are determined by your net business income.
Another choice for retirement savings for the self-employed is a SEP IRA, the Simplified Employee Pension. It’s easier to set up than a 401(k)and is typically used by people with self-employment income or small business owners. As the employer, you can contribute up to a quarter of your income, or $55,000, or whichever is less. There are no catch-up contributions for a SEP IRA.
Self-employed or working for a company, your retirement plan needs to include an estate plan. Your estate planning attorney will be able to help you with a will, power of attorney and healthcare directive.
Resource: Forbes July 23, 2018 “10 Retirement Accounts You Should Know About”