Entrepreneurs: How to Talk to Advisors About Retirement Plans

Entrepreneurs: How to Talk to Advisors About Retirement Plans

Being an entrepreneur can be as difficult as spelling entrepreneur. Apart from the financial risk involved, there are a lot of decisions to be made when starting your own business, including product offering, marketing strategy, entity type, compensation arrangements, and other factors. Plus, unless you plan to work forever, you’ll need to decide on a retirement plan. Choosing a retirement plan is one area that self-starting entrepreneurs might not want to go at alone; it will be complicated and can get more complicated if you have employees. To avoid costly mistakes and liability, we recommend working with a professional. Here, we will provide a foundation for the discussion that you should have with your advisor.

Popular small business retirement plans include SEP IRAs, SIMPLE IRAs, Solo 401(k)s, traditional 401(k)s, and defined benefit plans. The optimal plan will depend on a number of factors, including the amount and stability of extra cash flow that can be used to contribute to the plan and to maintain the plan (both now and in the future), your age, the age of your employees, employee turnover, and your general disposition toward generosity (certain plans require you to save on behalf of your employees, while others do not.) 

In 2017, the maximum contribution limit for SEP IRAs, Solo 401(k)s, and traditional 401(k)s is $54,000, which might be reduced based on income and includes contributions made by the employer and the employee, where applicable. Defined benefit plan contributions might be much higher. Unlike SEP IRAs and 401(k)s, defined benefit plans do not have a contribution limit. Instead, they have a maximum benefit amount. Contributions can be made up to an amount that is expected to provide the maximum allowable benefit of $215,000 in retirement (2017). Professional actuaries determine required annual funding amounts for defined benefit plans. (We told you it would be complicated.) 

Know that establishing certain retirement plans can be as simple as filling out an adoption agreement and completing an application through your brokerage firm. Although it’s easy, you might find that your brokerage company is not fully equipped to help with plan-related questions or requests that might arise down the road. Instead, we recommend hiring a third-party administrator (TPA) to help with choosing a plan, drafting the plan document, preparing necessary tax filings, and managing plan requests, such as loans, rollovers, and distributions. It will be money well spent. 

Making $ense of Tax-Deductible

A term used to describe the tax treatment of certain expenses or savings plan contributions.  Amounts spent on allowable expenses or contributed to certain retirement plans may reduce the amount of income subject to taxation. Common tax-deductible expenses include mortgage interest and property taxes paid. Popular tax-deductible retirement plan contributions include those made to 401(k) plans and traditional IRAs. 

The Sense
Sensible Soundbites
Twitter Email

We are moms, daughters, wives, sisters and friends. We’re also business owners, financial planners, investment advisors and lawyers. Like you, we are busy and we struggle to ... Click for full bio

Most Read IRIS Articles of the Week: March 19-23

Most Read IRIS Articles of the Week: March 19-23

Here’s a look at the Top 11 Most Viewed Articles of the Week on IRIS.xyz, March 19-23, 2018

Click the headline to read the full article.  Enjoy!

1. Multi-Factor or Not Multi-Factor? That Is the Question

Let’s pretend you are a US investor that wants to deploy some of your money overseas.  You think international developed market stocks are attractive relative to US stocks, and you also think the US dollar will decline over the period you intend to hold your investment.  — Chris Shuba

2. The Lies Spread by Bankers About Cryptocurrencies

I had a chat with The Financial Times the other day, and provided lots of background as to why I don’t think cryptocurrencies are the choice of criminals. The comment that was reported was the following ... — Chris Skinner

3. Alternative Investments? You May Need New Shock Absorbers!

During the tumultuous red and green gyrations of the capital markets this year have your clients anxiously called to ask: “What’s going on with my portfolio?” What do you do when the usually smooth ride in your luxury automobile becomes as bumpy as Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride in the Happiest Place on Earth? What does the average investor do? — Ted Parker

4. Why Fear of Inflation Is Rattling Investors

Inflation is a bad thing, right? It make things more expensive, right? For those of us of, let’s say, a certain vintage, we recall the runaway inflation of the late 1970’s and early 1980’s. So why does the Federal Reserve – in charge of managing the country’s currency and value thereof – actually try to create inflation? It’s called the inflation targeting and it matters to your money. — Bill Acheson

5. The Best Retirement Investments for a Steady Stream of Income

As you near your 60’s, your prime earning and saving years will transition into a period of time where you get to enjoy the “fruits of your labor,” a.k.a retirement. We call this segueing from accumulation to decumulation, the period when you will be drawing from your accumulated nest egg. Dana Anspach

6. An Emerging Theme In Thematic Investing

Exchange traded funds (ETFs) are popular vehicles for market participants looking to engage in thematic investing. Thematic investing looks to take advantage of future growth trends, including disruptive technologies. Given that forward-looking approach, stock-picking in the thematic universe is equally as hard, if not harder, than in traditional market segments. — Tom Lydon

7. 8 Winning Questions You Should Be Asking Every Prospect

It’s not enough for your salespeople to be product experts, they also need to be capable of having the kind of conversations that position them as business experts and even strategic resources. — Lisa Rose

8. 10 Steps to Successful Strategic Alliances

Business growth doesn’t come from wishful thinking. As you know, it takes a lot of hard work. The growth of your business is not an option – it is a necessity. Coordinating the right mix of strategies to gain market share and improve client acquisition rates is essential to advance your firm in today’s economy. — Michelle Mosher​​​​​​​

9. Keep It Light: Harnessing Humor for Financial Marketing Success

It’s undoubtedly true that investors’ financial security is no laughing matter, and this is reflected in the stolid, dour, reliable imagery and branding that is, by and large, the industry standard. This is hardly surprising—investors need to believe they’re placing their hard-earned money in the hands of experienced, trustworthy professionals. — Alexandra Levis​​​​​​​

10. Do the Economics of a Move to Independence Really Add Up?

The number one question advisors ask when exploring a move to independence is how the economics compare to accepting a recruiting package from a major firm. It’s certainly a valid concern, because while the recruiting deals being offered by the wirehouses are down, it is still very possible for a top advisor to get a really attractive hard-to-pass-up offer. — Mindy Diamond

11. Four Big Reasons Why Short-Term Muni Bonds Should Excite You

Municipal bonds might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of a sexy investment. They don’t typically command news headlines like the stock market or bitcoin. — Frank Holmes

Douglas Heikkinen
Twitter Email

IRIS Co-Founder and Producer of Perspective—a personal look at the industry, and notables who share what they’ve learned, regretted, won, lost and what continues ... Click for full bio