5 Retirement Saving Strategies If You Don’t Have A 401(K)

Retirement Saving Strategies

More than 42 million Americans don’t have 401(k) or another similar retirement plan. According to federal data, 14% of small-sized businesses don’t offer retirement accounts. While it is difficult to beat the employer contributions (free money) in a 401(k), you can use these tips to build a retirement nest egg.

1. Create your own 401(k)

You should consider setting up a one-participant 401(k) or solo 401(k) through an online brokerage. Make sure your boss changes your status so that the income gets reported on a 1099 form instead of a W-2 tax form. This way you can be categorized as an independent contractor and set up your own 401(k).

Solo 401(k) has the same rules as an employer-sponsored 401(k). You will have contribution limits depending on your age. With that said, you are both an employer and an employee as a self-employed business owner. You can make contributions as per individual guidelines, which will eventually increase the overall limits.

Your spouse is the only other additional employee you can hire and cover through this arrangement.

2. Get solid investment advice

You need pros for financial advice even if you are among the most conscientious savers. There are a few things that only professional financial advisors can grasp. Financial planners can have a look at your income and savings and help you organize your finances. They will carefully review your existing financial affairs to let you know where you stand. Financial pros will also offer recommendations to help you get where you want to be.

Financial planners have the necessary experience and training to make educated projections about the future. This insight allows them to offer solid advice on investments, savings goals, life insurance, mortgages, taxes, and retirement and wills. The best financial planners will take your aspirations and financial goals into account. They won’t try to hold you back from spending your money. But, will ensure that you spend wisely.

3. Consider an IRA

Individual retirement accounts (IRAs) are a traditional yet flexible tax-advantaged instrument. There are several benefits to opening an IRA depending on your income bracket. Any money you stash will grow on a tax-deferred basis, which means you don’t need to pay taxes on your earnings until it’s time for withdrawal.

In addition, your tax rate and gross income get reduced by IRA contributions which is helpful even more during a recession. You may become eligible for certain deductions, including medical costs by having a smaller adjusted gross income. If you expect to be in a higher income tax bracket on retirement, you may want to consider opening a Roth IRA. It’s easy to open an IRA account if you use an automated investing service.

4. Get a health savings account

Health Savings Account or HSA can help you save enough for retirement if your existing health insurance plan has a high deductible. The money in your account can be accessed anytime to pay for copayments, deductibles, and other qualified medical expenses. Moreover, you cannot use it to pay for insurance premiums.

If you don’t use the money, you can always invest it. HSA balance can be carried to the next year and grows tax-free. You can have a nice golden nest egg if you combine your HSA with an IRA. HSA is one of the better retirement savings strategies since any contributions you make are tax deductible. You should ask your insurance provider or banker about opening an HSA.

5. Persuade your employer

If you don’t have a 401(k), you should try to speak to your employer. It never hurts in asking. Moreover, make sure you do your research first. There are several plans available depending on the size and type of business. You may want to zero down on a few plans that are a right fit for you and the business. Make sure you find plans that don’t require a lot of paperwork or time and effort.

You may also want to rally a few coworkers since there is always strength in numbers. Your employer may not readily agree to a plan. But, over a period of time they may come to realize that a retirement plan is important to their workforce. Don’t forget to harp on the employer benefits of contributing to a 401(k). There are tax incentives for employers that sponsor plans which is great during high inflationary times.

Even if you don’t get anywhere with wheedling your employer – it’s worth a shot. Don’t push the issue too hard though in the times of layoffs. You may have to wait until times are better.

5 Strategies Billionaires Use To Multiply Their Wealth

saving strategies

A lot of people seem to think that billionaires sit on mountains of money and just invent new ways of spending it. Which is obviously not true.

Billionaires actually don’t see money as something to spend on themselves. Money is simply there to invest and create. This mindset is what allows them to multiply their wealth day in and day out creating more jobs and businesses along the way which is why countries with billionaires are better off with countries without them.

Over the years, numerous researchers have studied dozens of self-made billionaires for several years and found that they have specific habits that help them build wealth. For starters, they focus on saving and bringing in multiple income streams.

They also tend to favor the long game and look for opportunities when others are panicking – all traits that help 10x their wealth building efforts.

The good news is, you can replicate what the 1% is already doing and increase your net worth fairly quickly. Here are some key strategies used by billionaires that you can also implement to have your money work for you.

Get into the investing game early

You may be sick of hearing this advice, but this is the reason why Warren Buffett is one of the richest people on this planet even despite his politics which have hurt so many people. The Oracle of Omaha bought his first stock when he was 11!

Buffett is unarguably one of the most successful investors on this planet today and he credits his success to his early investing habit. And many other billionaires attest to the same fact.

By starting to invest early, you can take advantage of the power of compounding to the maximum. Don’t wait for the “right time” – there is none. Save as much as you can, start small and then increase your investments gradually.

Be patient

Ask any mega successful investor about the fundamental principle of their investing strategies, and they will all say the same thing: have patience.

Let’s circle back to Mr. Buffett for a minute because there really is no better person to learn investing about. He first bought six shares of an oil service company (Cities Share) at $38 a share. He had identified the company as an undervalued stock and was confident of making a great profit.

Unfortunately, the stock lost nearly one-third of its value within a few weeks of Buffett buying it. Most people in his shoes would have sold the shares as fast as possible but he waited. Buffett held onto the stock until it rebounded to $40 a share and received $2/share profit.

But that stock didn’t stop rising. After Mr. Buffett had cashed in, he observed the stock rising to over $200 a share without him.

If you are a newbie investor, don’t sell at the first sign of trouble. Follow the buy-and-hold strategy that all billionaires swear by and you’ll substantially increase your odds of getting rich dividends in the long term.

Always keep in mind that the market has an inherent upward bias. Just look at the US stock market: it has survived two world wars and countless recessions and crashes, and still has always managed to bounce back stronger and it certainly will after the Wuhan virus stops spreading. This will happen after it warms up but this is another topic.  

Another benefit of holding onto your investments for longer is, their returns will be classified as capital gains. This means the amount of returns will be taxed at a lower rate compared to the tax rate charged at which your routine income. This is why almost every billionaire holds onto a significant amount of their assets in equity.

Put your money in real estate

There is a reason why pretty much every billionaire has invested in commercial and residential real estate. Investing in real estate has the potential to be profitable in the short-term as well as the long-term.

According to the National Association of Realtors, the value of real estate in America has appreciated by 6% each year since 1968.

Also, it can provide you with a nice steady stream of rental income every month like clockwork. Even if the real estate market crashes tomorrow and your property goes down in value, you’ll still have the monthly income to rely on.

Be strategic, don’t panic

When the market slows down, an ordinary investor starts panicking and looks for an exit. On the other hand, billionaires see it as an opportunity to make strategic investments that will pay off big time in the long run.

In the aftermath of the Greenspan/Frank 2008 recession, people called Warren Buffett crazy when he invested $5 billion in Bank of America. But he knew that even though the banking sector had experienced a crippling blow, it will bounce back. And it did. Buffett traded those shares for an incredible $16 billion in 2017 which is the same year America emerged out of the recession because of the 2017 tax cuts.

So, no matter how bad it looks at any point in time, don’t do what inexperienced investors do. Instead, do what billionaires do and look for growth and value stocks that can be bought at a steep discount.

Use tax saving strategies

Billionaires understand that using some smart tax strategies, it is possible to reduce their tax burden. Some of these strategies include setting up trusts to pass down their wealth to the future generations and holding most of their assets in equity.

You can also shrink down your tax bill in a variety of ways, such as:

  • Claiming as many tax deductions as you can: mortgage interest, HAS contributions, 401(k) contributions, student loan interest deductions, medical expenses deductions, state and local taxes deductions, charitable contributions, and more.
  • Increasing the contributions to your retirement accounts to the maximum amount possible.
  • Holding your equity investment for at least 1 year to take advantage of capital gains taxes.

Final word

Despite what you may think, most self-made billionaires are not Ivy-League educated geniuses with advanced degree in finance. Heck, most of them never even went college! But there’s a big difference between getting a degree and getting an education.

If you want to invest like a billionaire, start thinking like one. Instead of thinking you’re not ready or getting fixated on short-term gains, learn how to take calculated risks. We are living in times of turmoil right now, and most people are selling quality companies at rock bottom prices due to fear.

This is the time to take advantage of that gloom in the market and score yourself a deal. This is the time to buy because America will rebound soon as already indicated and the rest of the world will rise with it (though not as much because most countries have leaders who are not cutting taxes and regulations but this is another topic too).