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What are the Different Types of Retirement Plans?

by Caldwell Trust

Whether you've been running your business for some months or a few years, it's always prudent to secure a comfortable future. As a business owner, you more than appreciate how life can be unpredictable, including not being certain how your business will fair over time. In this regard, you can deal with the uncertainty and worry by planning for retirement. 

Today, it's easier to build generous retirement savings with the government pushing everyone to take advantage of the offered tax breaks. Despite this, 33% of American workers are not going to meet their retirement goals if they don't start working on a plan. 


With this in mind, now is the best time to consider the different types of retirement plans available and what they offer. These plans are essentially tax-advantaged to encourage you to save although they may differ on aspects such as contribution limits and withdrawal rules. 


Here is a list of 7 different types of retirement plans to help you make the best retirement planning decisions for you and your employees. 


1. 401k 

This is typically an employer-sponsored retirement plan where you match your employees' contributions.


Aside from having tax advantages, it allows for high contribution limits. The IRS stipulates an individual who is under 50 years to contribute up to $19,500 or $26,000 if 50 years or older. The pre-tax savings grow tax-free in the account until the time of distribution at age 72. 


2. Solo 401k 

A solo 401k is a good fit for individual business owners without employees. It's also known as an individual or one-participant 401k plan.


It's a great way to revamp your savings as you will contribute as both employer and employee. In 2021, you're allowed to contribute up to $58,000 or make catch-up contributions of up to $6,500 if you are 50 or over. 


3. Traditional IRA 

The individual retirement account can be set up by anyone who has taxable income. In 2021, the contribution limit is $6,000 or $7,000 if you're 50 or older.


The biggest advantage of a traditional IRA is to bump up your other retirement savings. It also offers wider investment options that maximize your return on investment. Just like 401k, your savings are tax-deductible. 


4. Roth IRA 

Similar to a traditional IRA, you need to have earned income. You can save $6,000 in 2021 or $7,000 if you're 50 or older.


The contributions made are after-tax but will grow tax-free and you can withdraw at any time without being taxed or penalized. 



The Simplified Employee Pension IRA specifically targets small business owners and their employees, including self-employed individuals. As an employer, you can set aside up to 25% of compensation or $58,000, whichever is less, in 2021.


While only the employer can contribute, it has a higher contribution limit compared to IRA and Roth IRAs. It's also more affordable than a traditional 401k, which is good for a small business that does not have substantial funds. 


6. Simple IRA 

If you are self-employed or have up to 100 workers, this plan is for you. Employees are allowed to contribute up to $13,500 in 2021 or $16,500 if they're 50 years or older. As an employer, you are required to make a choice between a matching or nonelective contribution.


Your contributions as an employer are tax-deductible. It's also a great advantage for employees as they're getting matching contributions and can make pre-tax salary deferrals. 


young family health saving account

7. Health Savings Account 

You should also consider a health savings account to save money tax-free to cover qualified medical expenses. However, according to a Health Accounts Employee Attitudes survey just a quarter of employees seriously contribute to their health savings accounts, meaning more workers miss out on the benefits. 

You can annually contribute up to $3,600 for yourself or up to $7,200 for your family. There's also a catch contribution of $1,000 if you're 55 years or older. You can voluntarily contribute towards your employees' HSA although the limits tend to change yearly. Your contribution for single coverage is $750 and $1,500 for family coverage.


It allows tax-free savings, savings on medical expenses, and supplements your retirement savings. 


Choosing the Right Retirement Plan for You 

Finding the best retirement plan will depend on some factors, including your goals for the future. Your employees' decisions might all come down to what you offer as an employer, although they can find other options to boost their savings. If you are an employer or are self-employed, you have your pick of popular choices, such as a Simple IRA, SERP IRA, or a Solo 401k.

You also have to ensure you have the right investment strategy to optimize your retirement savings. This is where you may need a partner to walk with you, including overseeing any updates or changes to plan rules or policies. 

Caldwell Trust is looking to attract people who live in Southwest Florida such as Venice, Sarasota, St. Petersburg, Tampa, and Bradenton that are interested in estate planning, investment management services, or retirement planning services. If you're ready to get started on identifying and settling on an effective retirement plan for you and your employees, get in touch with us today.

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