For the self-employed, retirement planning can be a bit more complicated than for the rest of the population. They don’t have the benefit of an employer-sponsored plan and an HR department where they can find guidance and advice plans for their retirement years. However, that doesn’t mean that self-employed people can’t have a comfortable retirement or that they have to work until they drop. With a little planning and creativity, the self-employed can save enough for a relaxed retirement full of fun, travel and well-deserved rest. Here are eleven tips to get you started.
Tip #1: Start saving as much and as early as possible with retirement
When we’re young, it’s hard to focus on long-term goals like retirement, and we tend to focus a lot more on our immediate needs. This includes things like buying a house or car, settling student debt, paying monthly bills, and more. If you’re a passionate londonbusinessblog.com running your own business, even things like housing and a car can take second place when it comes to priorities; what you usually spend all your time and energy on business and growthso retirement planning is way behind.
However, if you have a comfortable retirement, the best time to start saving was yesterday; the next best time is today. At this point, it doesn’t matter how much you save for retirement each month or year (we’ll discuss that in a moment). What really matters is getting started.
However, if you want to retire comfortably, you should start saving as early as possible. The sooner you start contributing to a retirement account, the more time your money has to grow through compound interest.
Why does this matter?
Most people don’t understand how much impact saving one, two, or three years early can have on the size of your nest egg by the time you retire.
Let’s run some simple numbers. Let’s say you put $10,000 into a 401(k) when you’re 35. It will grow at an interest rate of 5-8%. If you take the lower 5% as interest, that $10,000 will have grown to $43,219 by the time you reach retirement age. If you wait a year and deposit the money when you’re 36, after 29, your balance will be $41,161. That’s $2,058 less at your disposal if you only have to wait a year. Start saving when you turn 40, and you’ll end up with $33,864. That’s over $9,000 less, even if it’s the same $10,000 you started with.
Now imagine not only saving a total of $10,000, but saving roughly that amount each year, which is what most people who are saving for retirement do. If you run the numbers, the difference could be tens of thousands of dollars if you wait a few years rather than start saving right away.
Tip #2: Even if you’re your own boss, pay yourself a salary
Just because you don’t have an employer doesn’t mean you can’t pay yourself a salary. This is especially important if your business is doing well and you reinvest most of the profits back into the business and forget to include some of it as income. When it comes to retirement planning, you need to know how much you earn each month, so you can budget accordingly and set aside enough money for the future. The best way to ensure this is to pay yourself a salary.
How much do you have to pay yourself?
The answer to this question depends on several factors. The main ones are:
- Your current expenses
- How well is your business?
- The long term financial goals for your company
- How much money you will need to live comfortably once you retire (more on this later).
Tip #3: Choose the right retirement account
When you are employed by someone else, chances are your employer will provide you with access to a 401(k) retirement account. If they don’t, other options are still available, such as an IRA. For zzp the possibilities are a bit more limited, but there are still several retirement accounts you can choose from. The most common four are:
- One participant 401(k): Also known as a Solo 401(k), this is perfect for the self-employed or business owners without employees. The contribution limit for 2022 is $20,500, but if you’re over the age of 50, you can add an additional $6,500 as a catch-up contribution.
- Simplified Individual Employee Retirement Account, or SEP-IRA: This account is another tax-deferred retirement account available to small business owners and the self-employed. The contribution limit in 2022 is the lower of 25% of your net self-employment income or $61,000.
- Employee Incentive Match Plan Individual Retirement Account or SIMPLE IRA: This retirement account is available to small business owners with 100 or fewer employees. The contribution limit in 2022 is $14,000, but if you’re over 50, you can also contribute an additional $3,000 as a catch-up contribution to reach $17,000.
- Keogh plan: Also known as a qualified retirement plan, this account is available to self-employed or unincorporated businesses.
Each of these retirement accounts has its pros and cons, so you should do your research to find the best one for your particular situation. They all have one thing in common: they are funded with pre-tax dollars, which means you can defer taxing them until you retire.
However, if you expect to reach a higher income bracket over time, it may make more sense to choose a Roth IRA or a Roth 401(k). These accounts are funded with after-tax dollars, meaning you won’t get the tax benefit now, but you will when you retire and start withdrawing from the account.
However, once you’ve made your decision, the most important thing is to contribute to one of these accounts as soon as possible.
Tip #4: Estimate how much you need to save for a comfortable lifestyle during your retirement
When you start saving for retirement, the most important thing is that you start early and save as much as you can without disrupting your short-term plans and lifestyle. Ultimately, though, you’ll want to start building a real retirement plan. That means:
- Set clear and ambitious but achievable long-term goals and break them down into smaller, more manageable goals.
- Develop a clear strategy that will serve as a roadmap to achieve those goals
- Act on that strategy and stick to it as best you can
- Run annual checks to see how far you’ve come, what you’ve accomplished, where you fell short, and what needs to change next year to get back on track or reach an even more ambitious goal.
When it comes to setting goals, they need to be specific and measurable. Therefore, you need to determine what you expect your retirement to look like so that you can estimate how much income you will have to pay for that lifestyle without surviving your savings.
This estimate doesn’t have to be perfectly accurate, but rather an assessment that will help you see a range of how much of your income you should be saving each month to enjoy the retirement you want.
Tip #5: Invest in a diversified mix of assets
When most people think about retirement, they imagine sitting on a beach, drinking cocktails or playing golf. But to make that dream come true, you need to have enough money to cover your living expenses for 20, 30, or even 40 years.
The previous tip was about determining your housing costs. However, once you run the numbers, you’ll likely find that your current income isn’t enough to save the amount you need each month. If so, don’t despair. You can drastically reduce the money you have to put aside each month if you manage to increase the return on your savings, even just a little bit.
This means investing your savings and not just growing them in a savings account. When it comes to investing, stocks and bonds are the two most common asset classes. But there are also other options such as: property, mutual funds, exchange traded funds (ETFs), and even NFTs and crypto trading. The key is to invest in a diversified mix of assets to minimize the risk of money loss, while still giving yourself the opportunity to earn a higher return.
Let’s say that at age 35 you invest the same $10,000 as before and you achieve an average growth of 6% instead of 5%. In that case, instead of $43,219, you will have $57,435 when you retire. That’s a difference of over $14,000 for that extra 1% return, without saving a penny more than what you saved in the first place!
Tip #6: Ensure a minimum income
No matter how much money you’ve saved for retirement, it’s critical to have a plan in place to make sure you have a minimum income each month. There are several ways to do this, but the most common is buying an annuity.
An annuity is a contract between you and an insurance company. In exchange for a lump sum payment, the insurance company agrees to pay you regularly for a period of time or for the rest of your life. There are different types of annuities and you can customize contracts to your heart’s content by adding contract drivers.
Annuities are a way to protect your nest egg and ensure you have a minimum income each month, but they are not without drawbacks. First, annuities are complex financial products and understanding all the different features and benefits can be challenging. In addition, annuities come with fees and commissions that can affect your investment returns, which is something to watch out for.
In any case, the most important thing is that you set up a safety net that you can fall back on after you retire, so that you don’t have to worry about running out of money or surviving your savings.
Tip #7: Live a healthy lifestyle
No list of tips on preparing for old age would be complete without this important advice. One of the best ways to reduce your medical costs in retirement is to lead a healthy lifestyle when you are young. This means eat healthy food, exercising regularly and being checked regularly. Of course, this isn’t always easy, but it’s worth it in the long run.
A healthy lifestyle will later help you avoid expensive medical bills and help you feel better and enjoy your retirement more. After all, what’s the point of saving for retirement if you can’t enjoy it?
So make sure you take care of yourself now, and you’ll be thankful later.
it comes down to
There is no one-size-fits-all answer to retirement planning, especially if you own boss. However, following these tips should get you off to a good start. Remember to invest in a mix of assets, insure a minimum income and lead a healthy lifestyle. And most importantly, don’t wait until the last minute to start planning and saving for your golden years!
- 1 Tip #1: Start saving as much and as early as possible with retirement
- 2 Tip #2: Even if you’re your own boss, pay yourself a salary
- 3 Tip #3: Choose the right retirement account
- 4 Tip #4: Estimate how much you need to save for a comfortable lifestyle during your retirement
- 5 Tip #5: Invest in a diversified mix of assets
- 6 Tip #6: Ensure a minimum income
- 7 Tip #7: Live a healthy lifestyle
- 8 it comes down to