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Retirement Investing for Small Businesses: Five Things Everyone Should Know

If you’re running a small business, then you’re likely familiar with uncharted waters. But while navigating the next financial quarter might be familiar territory, there is still one unanswered question that needs a solution: what you’re going to do about retirement. Retirement benefits aren’t only a great way to attract top talent to your business, but vital to your own financial peace of mind. As a small business leader, it’s up to you to think about which plan suits your needs. Here’s what you’ll need to know: 1: You Can Set Up Your Own Company Retirement Plan Most people hear the phrase “401(k)” and assume it’s a perk to the standard employment contract—one of those side-benefits to working the nine-to-five. Maybe you never imagined yourself ever setting up your own 401(k). But there’s no reason you can’t set up a 401(k) for your own small business, no matter how small it might be. Here are a few options worth noting: 401(k) Plans run the gamut from one-participant (or “Solo”) plans to company-wide plans. Because they have high contribution limits, these are great for employees who love to put away money for retirement. SEP: Simplified Employee Pension plans, including SEP-IRAs, are available for businesses of any size, according to the IRS. Whether you run a small business or a sole proprietorship that contracts out its workers, these are worth exploring. ESOPs: Employee Stock Ownership Plans are available to companies that meet certain criteria—so if you’re a startup, there’s a chance you might not qualify. But this can be a tremendous incentive to inspire motivation and teamwork at large companies. 2: Retirement Accounts are Really, Really Nice Why set up a retirement account at all? Why not store some money under your mattress for a rainy day? Why not put it all into a single stock and hope for the best? The answer to all of the above: retirement plans make investing really, really nice. Better than mattress-stuffing, better than owning a general investment account. Here’s why: Saving money. Elected salary deferrals, writes the IRS, are excluded from an employee’s taxable income.…

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