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Today, there are more freelancers and business owners than ever before. Being an entrepreneur is incredibly rewarding, but it can be difficult too. Between the many daily tasks an entrepreneur must juggle, most don’t find time to focus on the future. Retirement planning does appear to be a daunting task, especially for business owners without access to a traditional 401(k). What’s more, creating plans to step away from your venture likely isn’t a priority. However, the longer you put planning off, the smaller your savings will be. Here are ten essential tips for entrepreneurs.
Work Out Retirement Goals
Any future you plan on having will affect the way you save for retirement. Knowing how much money you’ll need is crucial. If you intend to travel the world, you’ll have to stash away more cash. Anyone happy to continue working as a consultant in their industry, on the other hand, wouldn’t need as much. Make sure you work out retirement goals, including benchmarks to hit along the way. A retirement calculator will help you to determine what age you are able to retire.
Look Into Savings Accounts
Regardless of the size of your venture, there are many retirement plans that could meet your needs. While Individual 401(k)s are made for one-person operations, the Simplified Employee Pension Plan and Savings Incentive Match Plan for Employees benefits businesses with staff. There are also several options under the traditional 401(k) umbrella that you could consider. Before making your choice, learn more about each of the plans and discuss them with experts.
Diversify Your Asset Portfolio
Spreading investments among various assets would offer a greater chance of reward, as well as protect against market volatility. Because of this, you should invest in a mix of bonds, stocks, and cash. Anyone further from retirement age and willing to take a risk might prefer to invest more in stocks than bonds. If you’re closer to retiring, however, leaning towards stable bonds makes sense. To increase potential earnings further, be sure to diversify within the asset classes too.
Keep All Finances Separate
For any entrepreneur, keeping business and personal finances separate is important. By clearly differentiating between the two, you make it easier to complete your taxes accurately. This separation would also simplify setting aside retirement money. Once you know what you have in your own bank account, you can figure out what you can contribute to your savings. Make sure that you transfer funds between business and personal accounts right to maintain separation.
Prepare An Exit Strategy
Many entrepreneurs expect to sell their companies for a prosperous retirement. Even if this transition is years away yet, you must prepare an exit strategy now. After all, it could take years to grow your business into a venture someone would want to buy. When selling a business, you must work with an expert. If you own a manufacturing company, for example, a manufacturing broker would be required. They would help you transition ownership to the next generation.
Examine The Monthly Budget
People often argue that they don’t earn enough to save for retirement, even entrepreneurs. However, regardless of salary, you must prepare for the future. If you’re struggling to meet any retirement goals, then spending could be the problem. For this reason, you should examine your budget and search for ways to lower monthly expenses. Luckily, there are many apps and online tools that make this process easier. Reducing your spending will leave you with more to save.
Revisit That Asset Portfolio
No matter how you design it, your asset portfolio is a living document. This means that your portfolio’s total value fluctuates over time due to changes in the market. Adjustments must be made according to big trends in the market, major life events, and turnover in the calendar year. Nonetheless, most advisors would agree that leaving the money alone is the best strategy. Save what you can, but once you’ve made your investment choices, allow the money to work for you.
Transfer Any Funds Automatically
After reworking your budget, contributing to the savings plan can be easy. All you have to do is set up automatic transfers between the accounts. This would mean that your bank moves a specified amount of money from the checking account to your savings account. Although many people would set up these transfers weekly or monthly, you can specify the time frame. An “out of sight, out of mind” approach like this will keep you from avoiding or forgetting to put cash away.
Stash Extra Money Away
While it’s certainly tempting, you shouldn’t spend any extra money you might receive. If you were to give yourself a raise, for example, your monthly spending should stay the same. This money could then instead be contributed to your retirement plan. Extra funds can’t be treated like found money. A small treat wouldn’t cause too many issues, but avoid splashing out on designer clothing or luxury vacations. Making leaps towards hitting your retirement goals is more useful.
Put Emergency Savings Aside
Even with careful planning, the unexpected can always happen. A disaster in business or your personal life could leave you with huge expenses you hadn’t budgeted for. During these troubled times, many people would be tempted to borrow from their retirement funds. Thankfully, with an emergency fund to fall back on, you won’t have to. While there isn’t a definitive sum you should put aside for emergencies, putting aside six months of your fixed expenses would go a long way.
Any entrepreneur organized and determined enough can work towards gaining financial freedom in the future. The secret is to get started early. The longer you put off retirement planning, the smaller your nest egg will be later in life. Making a conscious effort to prepare for retirement every day will make a huge difference. Retirement planning might not be your top priority, but it should be taken care of. Hopefully, with the advice above, you now have some idea of where you should get started.