Whether your employer provides a retirement plan or not, you will at some point want to retire from active service. There are lots of things to do if you do not have the option to contribute to a 402(k). it is a matter of picking the right one for you as there are lots of ways to save and earn. A non-exhaustive list of different retirement savings options are below. Never forget to check with your CPA or financial advisor so as to know the best options for you.

Roth IRA

As long as you have income you earn, you are eligible to open up a Roth IRA. When you withdraw the money you put in it, no additional taxes will be taken out because the money you put in has already had taxes deducted. You will be free of penalties when your withdrawals are within the set guidelines. You will get to see your money grow also and you will be assured that the entire amount belongs to you and not the government. This is a great option that a large number of people can qualify for and utilize. There are income caps to pay attention to that would limit some people from being able to use this option. Also bear in mind that there are contribution caps as well. You can contribute up to $6,000 toward your Roth in 2019 if you are under 50 and an additional $1000 “catch up” if you are over 50.

Traditional IRA

If your income is higher than allowed for a Roth, you can consider going for traditional IRA. If you do not exceed the Roth limits, you can contribute to both traditional IRA and Roth simultaneously. The only but is that your total max contribution between the two is still $6000. You may want to consider if this is the best option for you since you would be splitting your efforts. A traditional IRA also requires you to start making withdrawals at 70 1⁄2 and disallows you from continuing to contribute at that point. This is a big reason many favor the Roth approach when they have the option.


This is usually for owners of small business with or without employees. The contribution limits are way higher- up to 25% in some cases up to a max amount, but consider that you will need to contribute accordingly for your employees. Again, this would be a good time to speak with a financial advisor or professional if you have employees and would need to know amounts and specific rules relating. Freelancers and self-employed people without employees can also take advantage of this retirement savings vehicle without having to match for anyone else. Especially for self-employed people; there are other types of retirement accounts that may be a better fit or used in addition to the SEP IRA. This is because self-employed people do not have a corporate sponsored plan and there tend to be higher limits allowed.

Real Estate rentals

If you are looking to supplement more traditional funds with a different approach, you can also consider real estate rentals as an option. While there are many considerations when deciding if owning rental property is right for you, your situation, and your personality, it may be a good option to at least explore. Real estate investments can help diversify your portfolio, spreading some of the risk. These are more active investments, however, so “set it and forget” will definitely not apply here. On the upside, however, a paid off rental with a reliable tenant can bring you substantial income month after month while still retaining the tangible, principal investment- the house or unit.

There is a small general sampling of what is available out there beyond the scope of well-known 401(k) even though we are not investment advisors and we do encourage you to meet with a professional. What is most important is that you are saving even though how you save is important too.

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