Required

The Lowdown on IRAs, Elder Law Attorney, Woodstock, GA


Self-employed people need to save for retirement, and a tax-advantaged retirement plan is the best way to accomplish this. Designed for the self-employed, the Simplified Employee Pension (SEP-IRA) and the Solo 401(k) are relatively easy to set up. Both plans offer tax-deductible contributions, enabling you to cut your taxes and get tax-deferred growth. Another plus: you can still reduce your 2014 federal income taxes because either plan allows you to contribute up until your tax-filing deadline, including the six-month extension. If you got an extension and haven’t filed your return yet, you have until Oct. 15 to make 2014 contributions to your plan. However, while a SEP-IRA can still be established up until Oct. 15, those who wish to make a profit-sharing contribution to a Solo 401(k) must have established the plan by Dec. 31, 2014.

Which plan is the one for you? The main features and the pros and cons of each are listed in Physician’s Money Digest, “Self-Employed Can Still Cut 2014 Taxes with a Retirement Plan.”

An SEP-IRAis similar to a traditional IRA in that the investment earnings grow taxed-deferred until they are withdrawn. However, a self-employed individual can save and deduct much more than the $5,500 ($6,500 if 50 and over) for contributions to a traditional IRA. SEP-IRA contribution limits are calculated as the lesser of 20% of net business income or $52,000 for 2014, $53,000 for 2015.

A Solo 401(k) is for self-employed individuals with no employees. Your spouse is not included in the employee count and is permitted to contribute to the plan if he or she is employed by the business. This 401k can be structured as a traditional 401(k) or as a Solo Roth. The maximum 2015 contribution is $53,000 or $59,000 for those 50 and older. The contribution includes (i) an annual employee deferral up to 100% of compensation or earned income for a self-employed individual (to a maximum of $18,000 and $24,000 if 50 or older), which allows some to contribute more to a Solo 401(k) than to a SEP-IRA; and (ii) an employer discretionary contribution of up to 25% of compensation as defined by the plan or 20% of earned income for a self-employed individual.

One advantage a 401(k) offers over an IRA is that you can borrow from a 401(k). If you opt for Solo Roth 401(k), there’s no deduction, but withdrawals are tax-free if you wait until you’re 59½. The plan lets you save much more than a Roth IRA. Another advantage for the Solo Roth 401(k) is that contributions aren’t subject to income limits (unlike the Roth IRA).

Which is better… a Roth or traditional IRA?It depends on many factors. If you expect to be in a higher tax bracket in the future, the Roth version may make more sense, but if your current tax rate is low, it might be better to forgo a deduction now in order to withdraw money tax-free when you’re in a higher bracket in the future. What’s nice is that it doesn’t have to be an “either-or” proposition: you can have both traditional and Roth 401(k) plans and divide contributions between them.

For most self-employed individuals, the SEP-IRA may be a better choice than a traditional IRA because the contribution limits are much higher. Also, deductions for traditional IRA contributions are limited by income for participants who are covered or whose spouse is covered by a retirement plan at work.

Talk to a qualified estate planning attorney to see how these IRA options may fit into your strategy.

Reference: Physician’s Money Digest (August 27, 2015) “Self-Employed Can Still Cut 2014 Taxes with a Retirement Plan”

Hear From Our Clients
tes-prev
tes-next

I heard Cindy’s presentation at a Senior Luncheon at my church, and was very impressed. She helped my daughter and me understand many aspects of elder law. Josh has also been very helpful in my planning to enter an independent living situation . I have told many friends about them.

- Charlotte

The very best elder law attorney and staff anyone could ever ask for! I have referred a number of clients to Cindy and she never disappoints. She is kind, caring, and extremely thorough in making sure everything is completed as it should be. I highly recommend Cindy for anyone needing lawyer services; she truly goes above and beyond for every client she helps and has had a huge impact in so many peoples’ lives. Thank you, Cindy and staff, for everything that you do- I’m so glad to know you!

- Kerri

Cindy and the Nelson Elder Care Law team are trustworthy and helpful. They are the experts in elder care law. At Leaf Cremation, we entrust our families to the care of the Nelson team when their services are needed.

- Pierce

Josh Nelson, and his staff, have been amazingly helpful to our family. The ins and outs of nursing homes, the rules and regulations that govern Medicare and Medicaid are daunting and the folks at Nelson Elder Care Law have been informative, responsive, and above all, empathetic. I cannot emphasize enough how their service has taken a weight off of our shoulders especially during a world pandemic that has targeted nursing homes across our country. I highly recommend retaining Josh and his firm!

- Marcia

I had a simple legal question to them that I needed answered and they very helpful in giving me the information I needed. I highly recommend them and will reach out to them if I need more advice or assistance. Thank you for taking your time to just answer a couple of questions I had!

- Ben