Retirement Accounts for The Self Employed (Part 5 of 5) – What Is The Best Plan For You?

Independent’s Week is officially over!  I hope all of the self employed people out there enjoyed my detailed blog entries about the differences between all of your options for retirement plans.  In the chart below I summarize your options, key details and the pros and cons of each plan.  Enjoy.

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For the rest of this series:

https://daseducation.wordpress.com/2007/10/08/a-retirement-accounts-for-the-self-employed-part-1-of-5-the-sep-ira/

https://daseducation.wordpress.com/2007/10/09/retirement-accounts-for-the-self-employed-part-2-of-5-the-solo-401k/

https://daseducation.wordpress.com/2007/10/10/a-retirement-accounts-for-the-self-employed-part-3-of-5-the-simple-ira/

https://daseducation.wordpress.com/2007/10/11/retirement-accounts-for-the-self-employed-part-4-of-5-the-keogh/

 

Please contact Dollars & Sense Education to bring our seminars to your company or organization!

d_s_education_logo.gif 

Dollars & Sense Education – Raising Your Financial IQ!
www.daseducation.com
nicole@daseducation.com
215-499-3834

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Retirement Accounts for the Self Employed (Part 4 of 5) – The Keogh

Ok folks, another entry for the self starters out there!  Part 4 of how to sock your money away for retirement for the self employed.  Non self employed folks, come back next week and I’ll some good stuff for you!  So let’s do this… Part 4 – The Keogh. 

Keogh plans are the self-employed equivalent of corporate retirement programs.  They come in two basic flavors: profit-sharing plans and defined benefit pension plans

Annual contributions to Keogh profit-sharing plans are based on a percentage of self-employment income or compensation and subject to a $45,000 ceiling.  A plan document must be drafted in Year One (this may cost a couple hundred bucks), and the IRS demands an annual report (you can probably do this yourself).

Keogh defined benefit pension plans are designed to deliver a targeted annual retirement benefit, which can be as high as $180,000.  Each year’s contribution must be calculated by an actuary — the exact amount depends on your income, the target benefit, years until retirement and anticipated investment returns.  Annual actuarial fees and the required IRS report can run up to a couple grand.  Another negative: You’re locked into making the actuarially determined contribution each year.  However, if you make good bucks and are over 50, a defined benefit plan may be worth all the trouble — because it permits much bigger contributions than any other type of program.  If you’re younger, go with a SEP, profit-sharing Keogh or Solo 401(k).

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To put this entry in perspective, the Keogh plan is quite complicated and probably not appropriate for most self employed folks out there.  Keogh setup and ongoing fees for paperwork and for professional guidance are more suited to self-employed individuals with established businesses and consistent incomes.  One reason behind this limited parameter is that once you open a determined benefit contribution plan, you’re locked into that contribution every year

Do I Qualify For A Keogh?

Any sole proprietors, partnerships, LLCs, and anyone with self-employment income.

Are Keogh Contributions Pre or Post Tax?

Keogh plan contributions are deducted from pre tax income and contributions and interest income are tax deferred until withdrawal.

Where Do I Set Up a Keogh?

A Keogh plan is something you REALLY want to talk to a live financial advisor about.

How Much Can I Contribute Annually to a Keogh for myself?

You will encounter the same $45,000 ceiling for contributions to a Keogh profit-sharing plan but you can set a ceiling as high as $180,000 for a defined benefit Keogh plan.

Why Not Just Open a Traditional or Roth IRA?

Do Both!

When Do I Set This Up?

If you are establishing a plan for the first time, complete the Adoption Agreement(s) by December 31 (Simplified Keogh plan) or your fiscal year-end (Standard PSP/MPP plan), and you will be eligible for a deductible contribution for this year.

What If I Already Participate In My (Other) Employers Plan?

I was not able to get a definitive answer about this.

Do I Have to Put Away the Same Amount of Money Every Year?

With a profit-sharing plan you can vary annual contributions from 0 – 25% of compensation per year or skip a year if business conditions change.

With a defined benefit pension plan you make fixed contributions each year (1 – 25% of compensation) as your commitment to retirement benefits but once you select a percentage, you must contribute that same percentage each year, no more and no less. This contribution cannot be changed unless you amend the plan.

What If I Have Employees?

I was not able to get a definitive answer on this one!

Next Stop!

In Part 5 I will sort out what plans make sense for your individual situation!

For the rest of this series:

https://daseducation.wordpress.com/2007/10/08/a-retirement-accounts-for-the-self-employed-part-1-of-5-the-sep-ira/

https://daseducation.wordpress.com/2007/10/09/retirement-accounts-for-the-self-employed-part-2-of-5-the-solo-401k/

https://daseducation.wordpress.com/2007/10/10/a-retirement-accounts-for-the-self-employed-part-3-of-5-the-simple-ira/

Please contact Dollars & Sense Education to bring our seminars to your company or organization!

d_s_education_logo.gif 

Dollars & Sense Education – Raising Your Financial IQ!
www.daseducation.com
nicole@daseducation.com
215-499-3834

Retirement Accounts for the Self Employed (Part 3 of 5) – The Simple IRA

More Retirement Accounts for the Self Employed! Cmon.  I know its dry, I know.  But its like eating vegetables, its goooooooood for you.  He He.  The good news is if you are not self employed, you don’t need to bother reading.  If you are self employed – read on brothers and sisters!  Don’t you want to learn the best way to shelter your income?  If you have employees, don’t you want to help them save for retirement?  So let’s go.  Part 3 – The Simple IRA.  Part 4 of this series will describe the KEOGH and the last entry, Part 5, will discuss what options are appropriate for you according to the kind of business you have and your goals!

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Do I Qualify For A Simple IRA?

Employers are eligible to establish and maintain a SIMPLE plan only if the employer:

  1. No more than 100 employees (including self-employed individuals) who earned $5,000 or more in compensation during that year; and;

  2. No other qualified retirement plan, 403(b), or SEP at the same time.

Pre or Post Tax Contributions?

Simple IRAs are pre-tax contributions. 

Where Do I Set Up a Simple IRA?

The usual: Vanguard, Fidelity, ETrade, TRowe Price, etc.

How Much Can I Contribute Annually to a Simple IRA for myself?

Max contribution: up to $10,500 (2007) as an employee an an employee for a total of $21,000 (2007).  If you are 50 or over, you can contribute a total of $26,000 (2007) of PRE-TAX money.

Why Not Just Open a Traditional or Roth IRA?

Do both if your income makes you eligible for a ROTH IRA or Traditional IRA.

When Do I Set This Up?

Deadline to open an account is Oct 15th of the reported tax year.

What If I Already Participate In My (Other) Employers Plan?

Make sure you stay under the annual limits for total contributed to all employer sponsored plans!  So between your SIMPLE IRA and the other employer’s 401K your own contribution cannot exceed a total of $15,500 for 2007 or $20,500 if you are 50 or over. 

Do I Have to Put Away the Same Amount of Money Every Year?

No.

What If I Have Employees?

The SIMPLE IRA has a mandatory employer contribution requirement. This contribution requirement can generally be made as follows:

  1. The employer can make a dollar-for-dollar matching contribution on the first 3% of compensation that the individual elects to defer, or;
  2. The employer can make a nonelective contribution of 2% of each employee’s compensation for all eligible employees. You may choose to give the nonelective contributions only to eligible employees who make $5,000 or more in the year.
  3. Employees can contribute 100% of their annual compensation up to $10,500 ($13,000 if age 50+) for 2007.

 Anything Else?

There are such a thing as SIMPLE 401Ks but there is no benefit to this plan as you still have the lower SIMPLE limits $10,500 (2007) and more administration.

Next Stop!

In the next installment of this series (Part 4 of 5) I will describe another kind of retirement account for the self-employed – The KEOGH!  In the Part 5 I will sort out what plans make sense for your individual situation!

Other great blog entries and articles on Simple IRAs:

http://www.irs.gov/retirement/article/0,,id=111420,00.html

For the rest of this series:

https://daseducation.wordpress.com/2007/10/08/a-retirement-accounts-for-the-self-employed-part-1-of-5-the-sep-ira/

https://daseducation.wordpress.com/2007/10/09/retirement-accounts-for-the-self-employed-part-2-of-5-the-solo-401k/