Buy Used Office Equipment
Instead of spending your budget on brand new office furniture, peruse online sites, like Craigslist, for items that are in great shape and cost nearly half the price. You can also ask friends and family for old furniture they no longer use, like shelving and even a desk or chairs. In the end, you not only save money, but your office has a little more character.
Dont forget to look for refurbished tech products as well. Most come with a guarantee, like any other new product, so you can still maintain peace of mind that you wont be spending more on repairs than you did on the initial purchase.
How A Health Savings Account Works
HSAs are funded with pretax dollars, and the money within them grows tax-deferred as with an IRA or a 401. While the funds are meant to be withdrawn for out-of-pocket medical costs, they dont have to be, so you can let them accumulate year after year. Once you reach age 65, you can withdraw them for any reason. If its a medical one , its still tax-free. If its a non-medical expense, you are taxed at your current rate.
To open an HSA, you have to be covered by a high-deductible health insurance plan . For 2021 and 2022, the Internal Revenue Service defines a high deductible as $1,400 per individual and $2,800 per family.
Also, the annual out-of-pocket expenses, including deductibles, co-payments, but not premiums, must not exceed $7,000 for self-only coverage or $14,000 for family coverage for 2021, but for 2022, not exceed $7,050 for self-only coverage or $14,100 for family coverage.
The annual contribution limit for 2021 is $3,600 for individuals and $7,200 for families the 2022 contribution limit is $3,650 for individuals and $7,300 for families. People age 55 and older are allowed a $1,000 catch-up contribution.
Save 40 Percent Of Your Paychecks
As a freelancer or contractor, the general rule of thumb is to save 30 percent of your paychecks. Doing so will help you set aside enough money to pay Uncle Sam.
But what if you upped the ante to 40 percent? With that extra 10 percent, you can create a savings fund for retirement and other financial goals.
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Saving For Retirement If Youre Self
Okay, if youre self-employed and don’t have any employees, a one-participant 401also known as a solo 401may be right up your alley. Contributions are tax-deductible, and you can contribute up to $20,500 in 2022 . Then, on top of that, you can put in up to 25% of your incomeas long as what you contribute is less than $61,000 per year.6
Another option is the are primarily used by small-business owners who want to help their employees with retirement, but freelancers and the self-employed can also use this option. You can contribute to your own retirement this way, but again, you cant exceed either 25% of your income or $58,000 .7
The Boring Glory Of Index Funds
Your best bet is to buy something called an index fund and keep it forever. Index funds buy every stock or bond in a particular category or market. The advantage is that you know youll be capturing all of the returns available in, say, big American stocks or bonds in emerging markets.
And yes, buying index funds is boring: You usually wont see enormous day-to-day swings in prices the same way you may if you owned Apple stock. But those big swings come with powerful feelings of greed, fear and regret, and those feelings may cause you to buy or sell your investments at the worst possible time. So best to avoid the emotional tumult by touching your investments
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Get The Help You Need
Its typically easier to set up a 401 because your employer handles a large majority of the back-end work.
But, when youre the boss, it sometimes feels intimidating to tackle the process by yourself.
Fortunately, brokerages are more than happy to help support you. Firms like The Vanguard Group, Fidelity Investments and Charles Schwab Corporation offer options to help you set up the retirement plan that best fits your situation.
Iras Are Still An Option For The Self
Even if you participate in a retirement plan as a self-employed individual including the SEP IRA or SIMPLE IRA you still have the ability to participate in a traditional IRA or a Roth IRA.
So you can max out your contributions in any of the above retirement plans and still take max advantage of your own personal IRA. For 2021, that means you can contribute up to $6,000 each year
Youll enjoy all the benefits of an IRA, including tax-deferred growth, and can take advantage of what many experts see as the best retirement account going the Roth IRA.
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Individual Or Solo 401
Max Contribution: $58,000
Best for: A self-employed business owner with no employees other than a spouse
- Employee may make an elective deferral contribution of up to $19,500 up to 100% of your compensation.
- Additionally, the self-employed person can make non-elective contributions of 25% of net income up to a maximum of $58,000 or $64,500 if 50 or older.
- Employee deferral elections must be made by Dec. 31, but employer contributions may be made by the tax-filing deadline .
- Plan must be opened by Dec. 31 of the current year, and depending on the program, there may be start-up and annual fees.
- Once the plan is greater than $250,000 it requires filing an annual IRS Form 5500. Can be a Roth, but one stipulation is RMDs: Unique to the Roth version of Solo 401s, there are RMDs unlike a regular Roth. There are no age limits on who can make contributions.
- Loans are permitted.
- Individuals who have full-time jobs with an employer retirement plan and have their own businesses may utilize the individual 401. However, the maximum limit amounts are cumulative . The combined total contributions to the employer retirement plan and the individual 401 cant exceed the maximum of $58,000/$64,000.
Why You Can Trust Bankrate
Founded in 1976, Bankrate has a long track record of helping people make smart financial choices. Weve maintained this reputation for over four decades by demystifying the financial decision-making process and giving people confidence in which actions to take next.
Bankrate follows a strict editorial policy, so you can trust that were putting your interests first. All of our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts, who ensure everything we publish is objective, accurate and trustworthy.
Our reporters and editors focus on the points consumers care about most how to save for retirement, understanding the types of accounts, how to choose investments and more so you can feel confident when planning for your future.
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Defined Benefit/cash Balance Plan For Individual Contractors
Another option for independent contractors, although more rarely used, is a personal defined benefit/cash balance plan. This retirement account is best thought of as an extra IRA masquerading as a pension. It has higher expenses than an individual 401 due to a requirement for annual actuarial calculations and typically is not invested as aggressively. However, the contribution limits can be quite high, particularly for physicians in their 50s or 60s. It is an option worth exploring for someone interested in saving large amounts for retirement.
Figure Out Your Salary And Pay Yourself First
It’s surprising how few self-employed people actually budget for retirement savings, says Marty Reid, president of Reid Financial Consulting in Charlotte, N.C.
They need to make sure they have a really good understanding of their expenses and cash flow, and they need to include a retirement plan contribution as part of their budget, he says.
Most people are shocked at how much it really costs them to run their business, says Danielle L. Schultz, principal financial planner at Chicago-area Haven Financial Solutions. The first thing I tell people is, all the money that you get isn’t yours. Look at your tax return to see what it costs you to run a business.
As a rule of thumb, your expenses shouldnt be more than 30% of your total earnings, and another 20% of your gross should be earmarked for taxes, Schultz says. For every $100 you earn, you only have $50 of spendable money.
Its up to you whether you want to allocate your retirement funds from your business expenses or spending money bucket, Schultz says just make sure you stay within that 30% if youre counting it as an expense.
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Allocate Dedicated Office Space
If you work from home, designate an area of your home as an office so you can deduct a portion of your mortgage and utilities from your taxes. Check with your accountant on your specific tax laws to help you determine if your home office is in fact a deductible expense. For example, it needs to be used regularly and exclusively for business and you must be able to prove that you dont regularly do business outside of this space.
Brush up on the regulations for this deduction at IRS.gov.
Savings Incentive Match Plan For Employees Ira
If you received at least $5,000 in compensation from your business in each of the previous two years, you can make pretax contributions to a SIMPLE IRA. As of 2021, up to $13,500 of your net earnings from self-employment can go into the plan. In addition, you can either contribute up to a 3% match of your net earnings from self-employment, or make a fixed contribution of 2% of net earnings from self-employment that don’t exceed $290,000 for 2021.
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Tax Deductions For Super Contributions
You can claim a tax deduction for contributions you make from your pre-tax income . You benefit because you reduce your taxable income.
To claim a tax deduction, you need to send a ‘Notice of intent to claim’ form to your super fund and receive an acknowledgement from your fund. Contact your fund to find out how much time you need to allow for processing.
See claiming deductions for personal super contributions on the Australian Taxation Office website for detailed information.
Always confirm the details of any super contributions with your accountant or tax agent.
The Best Retirement Game Plan For Self
David Decary concludes with a summary of the strategies for the best game plan to save for retirement and ensure you can enjoy the quality of life you are accustomed to.
- Think about allocating 20%-25% of your income to retirement savings.
- Begin to save as early as possible, even small amounts.
- Increase your retirement savings once you have finished paying off your high-interest debts.
- Maximize your QPP contributions in order to diversify your income sources during retirement.
- Divide your retirement savings among your personal and business finances.
- Benefit from the assistance and investment advice of a financial advisor.
- Review your game plan from time to time as your business grows.
The great appeal of being self-employed and launching your own business is that you alone call the shots and decide for yourself what projects you pursue. Don’t forget that retirement is also a key part of the adventure!
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How To Save For Retirement When Youre Self Employed
If youre self-employed or a small business owner, you know that saving for retirement is just one of the many things you have to figure out on your own.
Saving for retirement when youre self-employed is a challenge. Not only do you have to research and employ the strategy that best suits you, but you also have to commit to it. The commitment to saving is one of the biggest challenges we see when working with clients, because income is rarely straightforward for the self-employed. Income isnt always steady or predictable and there may be business debts and estimated taxes to pay. Its no wonder that a retirement research study conducted by Transamerica found that only 55% of self-employed people save consistently for retirement.
Creating structure, automating as much as possible and remaining disciplined are the keys to success for self-employed retirement savings. It takes will power, but if you use savings strategies that specifically benefit self-employed people, you can sock away a lot more money than you otherwise could working for someone else.
For the self-employed and small business owners, five main options exist to save for retirement: a Traditional or Roth IRA, SEP-IRA, SIMPLE IRA, Solo 401, or a defined benefit plan.
How A Keogh Works
Keogh plans usually can take the form of a defined-contribution plan, in which a fixed sum or percentage is contributed every pay period. In 2021, these plans cap total contributions in a year at $58,000. Another option, though, allows them to be structured as defined-benefit plans. In 2021, the maximum annual benefit was set at $230,000 or 100% of the employees compensation, whichever is lower it rises to $245,000 in 2022.
A business must be unincorporated and set up as a sole proprietorship, limited liability company , or partnership to use a Keogh plan. Although all contributions are made on a pretax basis, there may be a vesting requirement. These plans benefit high earners, especially the defined-benefit version, which allows greater contributions than any other plan.
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How To Pay Yourself Super
If you already have a super fund, check that you can make contributions when you’re self-employed. You’ll need to give your fund your tax file number so they can accept contributions.
Check if moving from employee to self-employed affects the insurance cover through your super. Insurance terms and conditions vary from fund to fund.
If you don’t have a fund, see choosing a super fund.
Traditional And Roth Iras
A traditional IRA only allows you to contribute up to $6,000 a year but is another option available for self-employed individuals.
A Roth IRA differs in that you pay the contribution post-tax so that your withdrawals are tax-free. You can also leave the money to your heirs, and never have to withdraw during your life if you dont need to.
These are some of the retirement plans available for self-employed people. But what about other methods of saving for retirement? You dont have to rely on your retirement plan alone if you do the following.
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How Can You Successfully Manage Your Business While Planning For Retirement
Finding the time to manage your investments and savings yourself is of course a challenge when you need to devote most of your energy to running and building your business. David Decary highlights several support options, however, that are available to you. “With the assistance of a financial advisor or thanks to mobile investment apps such as Wealthsimple or Hard Bacon, it’s easier than ever to grow your money, even with small amounts.”
Establishing an annual savings goal based on anticipated income is also a great way to set up retirement savings within your company’s financial structure. By saving a certain amount every week, every two weeks, or every month, you can spread out your savings over the course of the year. This allows you to also monitor your income versus savings and to determine whether you are on track to reach your goals. This then makes it easier to adjust your expectations or even increase your savings to offset any future drops in revenue.
Consider A Health Savings Account
Another option to consider is a health savings account . If you have an HSA-eligible health plan, these accounts offer a number of benefits, including a tax deduction, tax-free growth potential, and tax-free withdrawals to pay for qualified medical expenseseither now or in retirement.*
After age 65, if you dont need the money for health care costs, you can take withdrawals from the account penalty-free. But, similar to a traditional IRA, taxes on contributions and earnings will be due.
- For more information, read on Fidelity.com: How can an HSA benefit you?
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Invest In The Stock Market
Alternatively, take the opportunity to invest your extra funds into the stock market. You can spend time learning how to trade online, and it can quickly become a lucrative side hustle. It is also becoming a hobby that millions of people around the world enjoy doing.
You can also trade Forex if you are more interested in the economic and political events which influence the prices of currencies around the world. Since the Forex market is very volatile, you can make a lot of money with day trading.
You Don’t Need A Company
As a contract writer, I don’t have access to a company-sponsored 401 plan to contribute to, or a pension to count on down the road. And as more people count on the “gig economy,” or contract work, as their primary job, a growing number of Americans will find the onus completely on their own shoulders to save for retirement. And that can be scary. But here’s some really good news: It doesn’t need to be.
It’s much easier to set up a retirement account with an online broker than you might think. Depending on how much you earn and how much you plan to contribute to your retirement each year, you may have several great options to choose from.
Here’s a closer look at the three best options to save for retirement if you’re self-employed. The fact is, this is one event that gets sharply harder and more expensive to prepare for the longer you put it off.
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