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    Rich Girl Roundup: No Access to a 401(k)? Here's What to Do

    enSeptember 18, 2023

    Podcast Summary

    • Without employer-sponsored retirement accounts, saving for retirement in your twenties and thirties can be challengingExplore traditional IRAs and taxable brokerage accounts as alternatives for retirement savings when employer-sponsored plans aren't an option

      Not having access to employer-sponsored retirement accounts or an HSA can hinder your ability to save effectively for retirement, particularly in your twenties and thirties. This is because the money you save during these years forms the foundation for your retirement account, and without it, your savings may not be able to grow significantly. Additionally, not having access to these types of accounts means missing out on potential tax breaks that can help increase your savings. The recommended solution for those without access to employer-sponsored retirement accounts is to consider opening a traditional IRA and a taxable brokerage account. While these options may not offer the same tax benefits, they still provide a means to save for retirement. It's also worth exploring ways to secure access to employer-sponsored retirement plans in the future, such as seeking out new job opportunities that offer them.

    • IRAs vs 401(k)s: Different Retirement Savings OptionsIRAs offer tax deductions with lower contribution limits, while 401(k)s have higher limits and ease of use through automatic payroll deductions. SEP IRAs and solo 401(k)s are alternatives for self-employed individuals with unique rules.

      IRAs and 401(k)s serve similar purposes but have significant differences, particularly in contribution limits and ease of use. IRAs, which can be opened with earned income, offer tax deductions for traditional IRAs at any income level. However, the contribution limit is much lower than a 401(k), which is linked to an employer and allows higher contributions. The ease of use and automatic payroll deductions of 401(k)s make them more appealing for many people, leading to higher savings rates. For those with side hustles or entrepreneurial businesses, SEP IRAs and solo 401(k)s can be alternatives, but they have different rules and requirements. Ultimately, understanding these differences can help individuals make informed decisions about their retirement savings strategies.

    • Unique retirement savings opportunities for self-employed and small businessesSelf-employed and small businesses can save more for retirement with Solo 401(k)s and SEP IRAs, offering larger contribution limits and potential cost savings in employee retention.

      Self-employed individuals and small business owners have unique retirement savings opportunities through a Solo 401(k) or a SEP IRA, which can allow for higher contributions compared to traditional W2 jobs. The Solo 401(k) stands out due to its larger contribution limit of up to $22,500 in employee contributions, regardless of income level. These retirement plans are valuable tools for deferring income for retirement and can lead to significant savings. Furthermore, offering a 401(k) plan in a business can lead to substantial cost savings in employee turnover and increased retention. It is worth advocating for the addition of a 401(k) plan in a current workplace, as it can be a valuable incentive for employees and potentially lead to financial benefits for both the employer and employees.

    • Retirement benefits lead to increased employee retention and financial gainsRetirement benefits can lead to higher retention and long-term financial gains for small businesses, despite upfront costs. Employees can consider opening their own IRAs or taxable accounts to save consistently if a retirement plan isn't offered.

      Offering retirement benefits, even for small businesses, can lead to increased employee retention and long-term financial gains. Although the upfront fees may seem high, studies show that the benefits outweigh the costs. If a business is unable to offer a retirement plan, employees can consider opening their own IRAs or taxable brokerage accounts and automating contributions to ensure consistent savings. The key is to maintain the same contribution amount as if a 401k were available, ensuring that savings are not netted out unintentionally. California, Oregon, and Illinois are among the states implementing new tax breaks and mandates to make retirement plans more accessible, making it an opportune time for small businesses to consider this investment.

    • Weighing the importance of 401(k) benefits against other job factorsWhile 401(k) benefits are valuable, they shouldn't be the only factor considered when deciding to stay or leave a job. Consider overall compensation, job satisfaction, and opportunities for growth as well.

      While the availability of a 401(k) or tax deferral benefits can be an important consideration in a job, it may not be the sole deciding factor for an employee to stay or leave a job. The value of these benefits should be weighed against other factors, such as overall compensation, job satisfaction, and opportunities for growth. It's essential to consider the opportunity cost of not having access to a 401(k) match or tax deferral benefits, but it's also important to remember that there are alternative ways to invest and build wealth. Ultimately, the decision to leave a job because of a lack of 401(k) benefits depends on individual circumstances and priorities.

    • Investing without a 401(k)Explore alternative investment methods like rental property or small business investing for income generation if you can't start with a 401(k). Real estate is a popular choice due to tax breaks and accessibility.

      If you're interested in investing but don't currently have the means to start with a 401(k), there are still plenty of other ways to generate income, such as rental property or small business investing. The speaker, who is a fan of tax breaks, finds real estate investing to be an accessible and easier option for most people. Stay tuned for the next Rich Girl Roundup episode, where we will discuss how to build a financially healthy ecosystem that works for you. Despite some technical difficulties with the camera, the speaker remains committed to keeping the conversation on track and providing valuable insights for her audience.

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