How to Save for Retirement If You’re Self-Employed

Working for yourself comes with a lot of responsibilities”and funding a retirement plan should be one of them. After all, if you don’t think ahead to your retirement, who will?

Payroll deductions and 401(k) retirement plans set up by employers make it easy for workers at 9-to-5 jobs to contribute to retirement plans. But for the self-employed, it can be more of a challenge simply because there’s no one to do it for you.

Here are some ways to take the process of funding a retirement plan into your own hands:

Traditional or Roth IRAs

If you’re just starting out or saving less than $55,000 a year, a traditional or Roth IRA is a good option. If you’re leaving a job to start a business, you can roll your old 401(k) into an IRA.

As of 2018, the annual IRA contribution limit is $5,500, plus $1,000 catch-up contribution if you’re 50 or older. The Roth IRA has income limits for eligibility, meaning that those who earn too much can’t contribute.

With a variety of differences between the two, depending on your situation, one may prove to be a better choice for you.

For example, a Roth IRA might be best if your business isn’t making much money. While there’s no immediate tax deduction for a Roth IRA, withdrawals are tax-free in retirement when your tax rate is likely to be higher. In addition, a Roth IRA doesn’t require withdrawals at a specific retirement age.

On the other hand, a traditional IRA offers immediate tax deductions on contributions, and ordinary income taxes on withdrawals at retirement must be paid. You must start withdrawing from a traditional IRA when you retire or reach age 70-and-a-half.

Solo 401(k)
For the self-employed or a business owner with no employees, except a spouse, a solo 401(k) plan is a good way to save a lot more money for retirement than through an IRA. A solo 401(k) is like the 401(k) retirement plan you may have had when you worked full-time for someone else but is operated and used by a single person.

As of 2018, the contribution limit is up to $55,000 (plus $6,000 in catch-up contributions if you’re 50 or older), or 100 percent of earned income, whichever is less. Being self-employed basically allows you to contribute to the plan twice, or double the limits in a traditional 401(k) plan, as both an employee and employer.

As an employee to yourself, a solo 401(k) allows you to contribute up to all of your compensation or $18,500, whichever is less. As the employer who administers the plan, you can match contributions of up to 25 percent of compensation.

The tax advantages are the same as a standard, employer-offered 401(k). Contributions are made pre-tax, and distributions after age 50-and-a-half are taxed.

SEP IRA
A Simplified Employee Pension Individual Retirement Arrangement (SEP IRA) is best if you have few employees or none altogether.

The 2018 contribution limit is the lesser of two options: $55,000 or up to 25 percent of compensation or net self-employment earnings, with a $275,000 limit on compensation that can be used to factor the contribution. Net self-employment income is net profit less half your self-employment taxes paid and your SEP contribution. No catch-up contributions are allowed.

For tax purposes, either the contributions can be deducted from your taxes, or 25 percent of the net self-employment earnings or compensation can be deducted. Distributions in retirement are taxed as income.

This article is intended for informational purposes only and should not be construed as professional or legal advice.

Published with permission from RISMedia.

Should I Renovate My House Before I Sell It? [INFOGRAPHIC]

Should I Renovate My House Before I Sell It? [INFOGRAPHIC] | Simplifying The Market

Some Highlights

  • In today’s hyper-competitive market, buyers are often willing to overlook cosmetic or minor repair needs if it means snagging a home in their price range.
  • With so few houses available for sale today, you may be able to skip the bigger renovations before you sell and cash in on the current demand for your house.
  • If you’re ready to move, let’s connect to determine your best next steps in this sellers’ market.

Should I Renovate My House Before I Sell It? [INFOGRAPHIC]

Should I Renovate My House Before I Sell It? [INFOGRAPHIC] | Simplifying The Market

Some Highlights

  • In today’s hyper-competitive market, buyers are often willing to overlook cosmetic or minor repair needs if it means snagging a home in their price range.
  • With so few houses available for sale today, you may be able to skip the bigger renovations before you sell and cash in on the current demand for your house.
  • If you’re ready to move, let’s connect to determine your best next steps in this sellers’ market.

Three Ways Low Inventory Is a Win for Sellers

The number of houses for sale today is significantly lower than the high buyer activity in the current housing market. According to Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist for the National Association of Realtors (NAR):

“There is no shortage of hopeful, potential buyers, but inventory is historically low.”

When the demand for homes is higher than what’s available for sale, it’s a great time for homeowners to sell their house. Here are three ways low inventory can help you win if you’re ready to make a move this fall.

1. Higher Prices

With so many more buyers in the market than homes available for sale, homebuyers are frequently entering into bidding wars for the houses they want to purchase. This buyer competition drives home prices up. As a seller, this can definitely work to your advantage, potentially netting you more for your house when you close the deal.

2. Greater Return on Your Investment

Rising prices mean homes are also gaining value, which drives an increase in the equity you have in your home. In the latest Homeowner Equity Insights Report, CoreLogic explains:

“In the second quarter of 2020, the average homeowner gained approximately $9,800 in equity.”

This year-over-year growth in equity gives you the ability to put that money toward a down payment on your next home or to keep it as extra savings.

3. Better Terms

When we’re in a sellers’ market like we are today, you’re in the driver’s seat if you sell your house. You have the power to sell on your terms, and buyers are more likely to work with you if it means they can finally move into their dream home.

So, is low housing inventory a big deal?

Yes, especially if you want to sell your house at the perfect time. Today’s market gives sellers immense negotiating power. However, it won’t last forever, especially as more sellers return to the housing market next year. If you’re considering selling your house, the best time to do so is now.

Bottom Line

If you’re interested in taking advantage of the current sellers’ market, let’s connect today to determine your best move in our local market.