Posted May 8, 2018 in Membership
Planning for retirement is always smart in any industry you work in. As a Process Server/Independent Contractor you may not be able to invest in an employer-sponsored 401k plan, or participate in a pension plan, however, this does not mean you shouldn’t plan ahead. Using a bit of ingenuity and research, you can still find ways to self-fund your retirement. Follow the steps below to start planning your retirement today.
Review Your Current Financial Situation
Before you can create a retirement plan, it is important to take a moment to carefully assess your current financial situation, as well as what you envision for your future. You can easily get a quick look at what you need to do by using a retirement calculator online. A retirement calculator will take into account your current age and income, your retirement savings goal, and any other financial investments that you have. It can let you know how long you’ll need to work with your current income and investment plan.
Additionally, if you haven’t been saving any funds for emergency purposes or for your future retirement, you’ll want to work on getting caught up. While it may not be feasible to do this quickly, understanding your current situation and making an effort to plan for the future is the first step in getting ready for retirement.
Assess Your Needs
When you plan for retirement, it is important to have a realistic goal of when you will stop working — although you might feel like you can work forever, that might not be the case. Planning for your future can go a long way in making your life easier when the time comes to stop working.
You’ll also want to compare what your life is like now versus how you see yourself living once you retire. Do you plan to downsize your home? Do you want to move out of state? How is your health? When it comes to assessing your future needs, questions like these are just the beginning of determining what route you’ll want to take when planning for your retirement from civil process service.
Evaluate Your Options
For process servers who operate as a business owner, on a freelance basis, or as an independent contractor, you might be surprised to learn that you can take advantage of many of the same retirement options that traditional employees are offered. Some of those options include different types of IRA (individual retirement account) plans that you can use to begin saving for your future. Beyond IRAs, there are a number of other ways you can prepare for your future, such as creating a separate savings account for your retirement. However, making a true investment in your future may be a better way to go. No matter what you choose, be sure to carefully evaluate all your options before diving in.
A traditional IRA is an investment plan where you are able to make contributions to a retirement account before income taxes are deducted, and you are able to make either a full or partial tax deduction during the year that you make the contribution, is a way to not only beef up your retirement account but also get a tax benefit as well. You typically aren’t hit with taxes until you distribute the account. Also, the yearly contributions are capped, so this plan is likely better for those who have a lot of working years left.
Traditional IRAs differ from Roth IRAs because you make an after-tax contribution (not a pre-tax one) to a retirement savings account. The other difference is that you cannot make tax deductions from your contributions. Keep in mind that like traditional IRAs, the contribution amounts for both Roth and Traditional IRAs are capped.
SEP IRAs are essentially a simplified pension plan that allows for much higher contributions than Roth or Traditional IRAs — and the contributions are made in pretax dollars. The biggest downside to this plan is really only if you have employees. Whatever you do for yourself, you’ll have to do for them.
You can also create your own contribution plan, which is structured similarly to a traditional IRA. For example, 401(k) and 403(b) are contribution plans, meaning that you contribute your own funds to these accounts. Oftentimes, employees contribute or match a certain amount that their employer contributes to these funds, which is what makes these ideal when working for a large company.
Overall, there are a variety of investment plans (more than what we can list here!), so before making a final decision, consider getting additional help to sort through all the possibilities and what retirement plan will benefit you the most.
Get Extra Help
To find out what investment option is right for you, it is worthwhile to visit a financial planner to get a complete understanding of your current finances and what options you have available for your future and retirement. Be sure that your financial planner is a fiduciary to ensure that they will work in your best interest. Keep in mind that what we have provided is for informational purposes only, and each individual’s options may vary.
If your accountant does not provide a financial planning service, he or she may be able to recommend you to someone who can help you better plan for your future. Just as we recommend to customers that licensed civil process servers should be used to serve papers, finance professionals are there to help you navigate the complexities of investing in your future. Happy planning!