Solo 401k vs SEP IRA:  A Comparing For the Self-Employed

Self-employment can offer an excellent work-life balance, as well as other freedoms and lifestyle benefits! Hahaha…wasn't that funny. Seriously though, self-employment will likely be the cause of you working 80 hours a week…ha! This obviously leaves a ton of time to research the Solo 401k vs SEP IRA.

Why Do I Need a Retirement Plan?

You Need Money to  Stop Working

Obviously, you need to save money for your eventual retirement, and (in my opinion) a more hopeful “Act 3″ (of a 4 Act Life), otherwise known (by me) as a down-shift or semi-early-retirement.

To Reduce Your Taxes

This point is almost even more important than point #1. You need to utilize your retirement plan to help reduce your taxes, so you can have more money to put into #1. It's a little bit of a chicken/egg thing I suppose.

So Where Do I Start?

Naturally, the financial industry has provided a host of confusing products, the research of which will probably result in your procrastination. So, I'm going to boil it down for you, and compare two standard products: the SEP IRA vs Solo 401k.

Just to be clear, this post is mostly meant to compare each of these retirement plans for the purpose of someone who is self-employed and does not have employees, except for a spouse. Mainly because a Solo 401k (as the word “solo” indicates) is for an individual person. A traditional 401k would accommodate someone with employees.

The Most Significant Distinctions Between the SEP IRA vs Solo 401k

A SEP IRA stands for “Simplified Employment Plan” IRA. It's a retirement plan that is intended for businesses, and allows participation by owners and employees. A Solo 401k (also can be referred to as an individual 401k or self-employed 401k) is available to business owners and their spouses (if involved in the business).

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