Business Owners: You Need Your Own Retirement Plan

Submitted by Edward JonesPrint Story | Email Story

As a business owner, you can't afford to ignore your competition. You can't afford to miss out on the trends affecting your industry. You can't afford to alienate customers. And here's one more item to add to the list: You can't afford not to create a retirement plan for yourself.

Of course, you might think that, one day, you will simply sell your business and live off the proceeds. But selling a business isn't always simple, and there's no guarantee you will receive enough to pay for a comfortable retirement – which is why you should strongly consider creating a retirement plan now.

Here are some of the most widely used plans:

SEP-IRA:
You can contribute up to 25 percent of your compensation — as much as $56,000 in 2019 — to a SEP-IRA. Your contributions are tax deductible and your earnings grow tax-deferred until withdrawn. This plan offers you significant flexibility in making contributions for yourself and your employees. Plus, as an employer, you can generally deduct, as business expenses, any contributions you make on behalf of your plan participants.


SIMPLE IRA: In 2019, you can put in up to $13,000 — or $16,000 if you're 50 or older — to a SIMPLE IRA. As is the case with the SEP-IRA, your earnings grow tax deferred. You can match your employees' contributions dollar for dollar, up to 3 percent of compensation. If you work for yourself, you can combine employee and employer contributions, so if you use the 3 percent matching rule, and you earn enough to fully match employee contributions, you can put in up to $26,000 per year (or $32,000 if you're 50 or older). Alternatively, you could contribute 2 percent of each eligible employee's compensation each year, up to a maximum of $5,600, regardless of whether the employee contributes. Contributions to your employees are tax deductible.

"Owner-only" 401(k) plan: If you have no employees other than your spouse, you can establish an "owner-only" 401(k) plan, which functions similarly to a 401(k) plan offered by a large employer. Between salary deferral and profit sharing, you can contribute up to $56,000, in pre-tax dollars, to your owner-only 401(k), or $62,000 if you're 50 or older. Like a SEP-IRA and SIMPLE IRA, a 401(k) provides the potential to accumulate tax-deferred earnings. However, you could choose to open a Roth 401(k), which can be funded with after-tax dollars. With a Roth 401(k), your earnings can grow tax-free, provided you have had your account at least five years and you don't start taking withdrawals until you're at least 59 1/2.

Which plan is right for you? The answer depends on several factors, such as whether you have any employees and how much money you can contribute each year. But all the plans mentioned above are generally easy to establish, and the administrative costs are usually minimal. Most important, any one of them can help you build some of the resources you’ll need to enjoy the retirement lifestyle you’ve envisioned. To select an appropriate plan, you may want to consult with your tax and financial advisors.

In any case, don’t wait too long. Time goes by quickly, and when you reach that day when you're a 'former" business owner, you will want to be prepared.

This article was written by Edward Jones for use by your local Edward Jones financial advisor. Courtesy of Rob Adams, 71 Main Street, North Adams, MA 01247, 413-664-9253.. Edward Jones, its employees and financial advisors cannot provide tax or legal advice. You should consult your attorney or qualified tax advisor regarding your situation. For more information, see EdwardJones.com.

0 Comments
iBerkshires.com welcomes critical, respectful dialogue; please keep comments focused on the issues and not on personalities. Profanity, obscenity, racist language and harassment are not allowed. iBerkshires reserves the right to ban commenters or remove commenting on any article at any time. Concerns may be sent to info@iberkshires.com.

Be Creative When Withdrawing from Retirement Accounts

Submitted by Edward Jones

Like many people, you may spend decades putting money into your IRA and your 401(k) or similar employer-sponsored retirement plan. But eventually you will want to take this money out – if you must start withdrawing some of it. How can you make the best use of these funds?

To begin with, here's some background: When you turn 70 1/2, you need to start withdrawals – called required minimum distributions, or RMDs – from your traditional IRA and your 401(k) or similar employer-sponsored retirement plan, such as a 457(b) or 403(b). (A Roth IRA is not subject to these rules; you can essentially keep your account intact for as long as you like.) You can take more than the RMD, but if you don't take at least the minimum (which is based on your account balance and your life expectancy), you will generally be taxed at 50% of the amount you should have taken – so don't forget these withdrawals.

Here, then, is the question: What should you do with the RMDs? If you need the entire amount to help support your lifestyle, there's no issue – you take the money and use it. But what if you don't need it all? Keeping in mind that the withdrawals are generally fully taxable at your personal income tax rate, are there some particularly smart ways in which you can use the money to help your family or, possibly, a charitable organization?

Here are a few suggestions:

View Full Story

More North Adams Stories