401(K) for Freelancers


Saving money can be difficult even at the best of times. When your paychecks pop up irregularly, and at odd times, it can be downright frustrating.

Lately, I’ve been struggling to pay down my credit card debt and cover all my bills. I’ve been unable to contribute to the mortgage since October, and I’m desperate to save up money for both a house and my career coaching certification. With so many things to save for, retirement can seem miles away.

Lord knows, though, I don’t want to be living paycheck to paycheck like this into my 90s. Which is why Freelancers Union’s announcement of a freelancers retirement plan is so intriguing.

According to the site (which compares their plan with a solo 401(k), a SEP IRA, and an IRA), there is a minimum contribution of $0, with a maximum of $16,500, along with an automation aspect that would allegedly make investing in your future even easier.

I’m impressed by the fact that Freelancers Union is stepping up to the plate with an easy plan for freelancers but, as Thursday Bram mentions in a post on her own blog, “there are many freelancers who will be able to save more money with a SEP IRA or another account. It will simplify retirement savings for many people, but I do think it’s worthwhile for freelancers to talk to a financial planner before deciding one way or the other.”

I’m pretty clueless when it comes to these things myself, but I would like to share some additional resources for those looking to start investing in their own retirement:

The Motley Fool: This site, dedicated to providing financial solutions to all sorts of investors, includes 13 steps in order to retire in style, and an IRA Center.

Internal Revenue Service: Ah, yes. The IRS can be our friend. This government site has an entire Retirement Plans Community, along with a page on the different types of retirement plans.

360 Degrees of Financial Literacy: This site is chock full of helpful articles, such as “Understanding IRAs,” and also has a shitload of available tools, such as a comparison of traditional and Roth IRAs, a Roth IRA Calculator, a Traditional IRA Calculator, etc. FAQs also cover IRAs and other retirement saving options extensively.

Bankrate.com: Bankrate.com is a media hub of information for all sorts of financial queries. Their section on retirement includes news articles and tips, a variety of retirement calculators, a search engine for certified financial planners, and more.

The Money Therapi$t: I’ve already mentioned this book here and here, but it bears repeating: This is a great resource for those looking for a one-stop-shop for all their financial questions. Plus, author Marcia Brixey will be able to point you toward even more great resources, both online and in print!

Related: Home-Schooled: 20 Books To Build Your Freelance Life Upon, My 5 Favorite Things In: The Money Therapi$t, How to Give Yourself a Sweet Benefits Package


  1. Thanks for linking to my post. I think it’s really worth noting that if you decide to go with the Freelancer’s Union plan (or anything else), you can always change your mind later. Even if you aren’t sure that a particular plan will be ideal for you in the long run, just joining one to get a saving mechanism in place can come in handy.

    A good financial planner can help you roll an existing account over into another one down the line if you wind up making more money (what a problem to have!) than you can save with a 401(k).

  2. I’m intrigued by the Freelancer’s Union retirement plan, too. Thanks for posting about it and sharing these great resources!

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