You probably hear all the time how important saving for retirement is. Saving as much as possible, and as early as possible, is the...

You probably hear all the time how important saving for retirement is. Saving as much as possible, and as early as possible, is the key to retiring when and how you want. Often retirement goals are accomplished by utilizing retirement savings accounts, such as 401k’s.

A 401k is a retirement savings account that your employer can offer you, and is one of the most popular forms of retirement savings and investment there is. The main benefits of a 401k are the tax exemptions and that many employers will match your contributions.

But what to do if your job doesn’t offer a 401k? It’s vital that you look for other ways to save for your pending retirement if your current job doesn’t have many options. Unfortunately, saving in a normal savings account isn’t typically going to cut it. In this article, we’ll discuss several other options you can consider to still grow and financially prepare for your retirement outside of employment benefits.

Start an IRA

An IRA is a retirement investment account that you open as an individual outside of your employer. On the plus side, you do still get some beneficial tax benefits with this type of account. There are 2 main types of IRA’s that you can consider:

  • Traditional IRA – With a traditional IRA, you don’t pay any taxes on the money you contribute. You will simply pay taxes on the money you withdraw during your retirement. The max you can contribute yearly is $6,000.
  • Roth IRA – With a Roth IRA, you pay taxes on your contributions today; but you don’t pay taxes on the money as it grows, and you don’t pay taxes on the money when you withdraw in retirement. The max you can contribute yearly is $6,000.

Seek Other Investment Opportunities

You don’t need to necessarily save via a retirement investment account alone. Maxing out an IRA is still recommended, but once that is done you can consider a brokerage account or normal taxable investment account. You won’t see any special tax benefits with this type, but you can supplement your retirement savings. Diversifying your stock portfolio can help, as well. Check with your employer to see if they have stock options available.

Look for Employment with Better Benefits

Sometimes, working for smaller companies or startups won’t provide you with many benefits. When your need for retirement benefits becomes a priority, you may want to consider seeking employment with options that can help you.

Self-Employment Opportunities

When you’re self-employed, you don’t have the option of a 401k. However, this doesn’t mean that your retirement savings opportunities; in fact, those who are self-employed can have more investment opportunities available to them. Let’s take a look at a couple of them:

  • Solo 401k – A Solo 401k is where you act as the employer and the employee. You contribute up to 25% of earnings into the account as the employer, and the employee can add up to $19,000 annually to the account. The total limit for the year cannot exceed $56,000.
  • SEP IRA A SEP IRA is very similar to a traditional IRA, except for you’ll be making contributions as the employer (you) and there are a lot fewer restrictions in place. For instance, you can contribute either $56,000 annually or 25% of your earnings – this is much higher than traditional IRA.


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