Self Employed Retirement Options – Ways to Plan For a Secure Small Business

Self employment is an attractive option for many, particularly in an uncertain economic climate. Instead of searching for a new job following a layoff, legions of workers are deciding to create their own job by working for themselves. While controlling the terms, conditions and nature of the way in which one will earn a living may be tremendously appealing, the singular focus on building a business may obscure the important task of retirement planning. Fortunately, there are numerous self employed retirement options of which independent business owners can avail themselves and work towards a stable, secure future.The perks of working for oneself are innumerable, but the substantial amount of self employment tax that must be paid is seen by some as a significant drawback to such an arrangement. It is important to note, however, that there are multiple tax-advantaged self employed retirement options that serve to balance what may initially be viewed as a negative. Retirement plans available to self employed individuals often assist them in allocating considerably more money for retirement than conventional wage earners would find possible. Among the most common such plans are solo 401(k) plans, Roth IRAs, simplified employee pensions (SEPs) and Keogh plans.One of the self employed retirement options for self employed individuals is the solo 401(k). Under this type of plan, a contribution of up to 100% of the first $16,500 earned by an individual as a result of self employment or as compensation as an employee of his or her own company may be made and deducted. Individuals of age 50 or over may contribute up to 100% of the initial $22,000 earned in the same manner. In addition to those allocations, amounts not exceeding 25% of income earned in either manner may be contributed to the plan and deducted. In order to qualify, this type of plan must be established by December 31 of the tax year.Roth IRAs and spousal deductible IRAs are other self employed retirement options for independent business owners to explore. These vehicles are often used as a method of supplementing other retirement plans, as they can be used simultaneously with other breeds of retirement packages. Funds dedicated to Roth IRAs are nondeductible, however the earnings amassed are tax free, and no taxes will be assessed upon withdrawal of the funds. Individual taxpayers may contribute only $5,000 annually, while couples are capped at $10,000, subject to generous levels of income phaseouts. Under the spousal deductible IRA, any spouse may make contributions of an additional $5,000 if their spouse makes contributions to their employer’s retirement package, provided that their gross adjusted income is not more than $167,000, combined.SEPs, or simplified employee pensions are tremendously simple, basic retirement vehicles that represent one of the most fundamental of the self employed retirement options. These plans allow self employed individuals to contribute and then deduct a maximum of 20% of income they earn through self employment endeavors, or up to 25% of income earned as an employee of one’s own company. The self employed individual may alter the percentage of the contribution made each year, which can be a valuable feature in years where cash flow is uncertain. SEPs may be put in place anytime up to the date of any income tax return extension granted to the taxpayer, and there is no IRS annual reporting requirement for this type of plan.

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