Ways to Save for Retirement as a Freelancer
As a freelancer, you don’t want to forget about retirement. Since many retirement accounts are connected to employment, being your own boss means you need to think about these things if you want to be able to stop (or at least slow down) your freelancing during your golden years.
Here are a few options open to freelancers.
#1 Start a Savings Account
This is the simplest option. Personally, I use Chase Bank [I do receive compensation if you open a checking account using this link, but not if you open a savings account]. The best way to save for the future with a savings account is to set a particular amount aside each month. Put it in the savings account and forget about it (unless you have a genuine emergency). Interest rates are terrible, so don’t expect to have a lot more at retirement than you contribute. However, this is a simple way to get started, and there is no significant risk if the account is FDIC insured.
#2 Start an IRA or Roth IRA Account
IRA stands for individual retirement account. Your retirement funds are invested through a financial institution. What is the difference between a traditional IRA and a Roth IRA?
With a traditional IRA, you can delay paying taxes on the money you contribute. It’s great if you make a lot of money now and want to withdraw the funds after retirement when you will make less and pay a reduced tax rate. A Roth IRA is the opposite. You pay taxes on the money now and nothing when you collect it as long as you wait until you are at least 59.5 years old. If you withdraw the money early, there is a penalty (with exceptions for certain life events).
An IRA allows you to grow your savings significantly with low risk as long as you work with a reputable financial institution. There are also self-directed IRAs that allow you to control how the money is invested. This involves a higher risk unless you know what you are doing.
#3 Invest on Your Own
The highest risk versus reward category is investing on your own. There are many ways to do this. You can invest in stocks, bonds, mutual funds, commodities, cryptocurrency, and even through peer-to-peer lending sites. Each has its own advantages and risks. I’m not a financial advisor, so please don’t take any of this as investment advice. I’m just explaining a few available options that I myself use. Never invest more than you can afford to lose.
Personally, I use these three retail investing apps [using the links provided and meeting specific requirements will result in me receiving referral compensation].
Robinhood – I like Robinhood because I can invest in fractional shares (which is nice if you want to invest in a company like Amazon but can’t afford $3,000/share). It is also a straightforward user interface for a first-time investor. They offer stocks, ETFs, and even some cryptocurrencies. The current promotion gives you one free share of stock (selected by Robinhood) when you meet certain conditions.
WeBull – WeBull offers a broader range of products but requires a little more legwork to understand how to use all the features. You can invest in stocks, crypto, and ETFs or even start an IRA. However, WeBull doesn’t allow fractional shares, so you have to be prepared to invest in whole shares. They offer two free shares of stock for new customers – one when you sign up and a second after your first $100 deposit.
Coinbase – Coinbase is strictly for buying, selling, and trading cryptocurrency. My favorite feature is the ability to convert one currency directly to another. Just watch out for the fees. They take a much bigger cut on smaller investments. At the time of this writing, Coinbase gives everyone $5 in Bitcoin for completing the registration process. However, if you use my referral link and buy or sell at least $100 in crypto, we will both receive $10 in bitcoin, as per the current promotion.
Hopefully, this article provides you with a few solid options regarding planning for retirement. Thanks to those of you who use any of my referral links and help to support my blog.