For Mark Roberts’ Use: For retirement planning options, it’s hard to beat the advantages of a 401(k) plan. But if you’re one of the 42 million Americans who work for a smaller business, you probably don’t have access to one. Ditto for the self employed.

But that doesn’t mean you don’t have retirement planning options. You just might need to be a little more creative, and utilize one (or several) of these ideas instead.

Create your own solo 401(k). Yes, this is actually an option! If you’re an independent contractor (self employed) you can create your own solo 401(k). The IRS calls it a “one participant 401(k)” and it’s subject to the same rules and tax benefits as employer-sponsored funds.

Open an IRA. An Individual Retirement Account offers flexible retirement planning, with different tax advantages depending upon your needs. Currently you can contribute $6,000 per year to an IRA, or $7,000 if you’re over age 50, while enjoying a reduction in taxable income if you choose the Traditional structure. Or, if you opt for a Roth IRA, you can stash after-tax dollars now but enjoy non-taxable distributions in retirement.

Contribute to a health savings account. Those with high-deductible health insurance plans can contribute to an HSA. You will contribute pre-tax dollars to the account, which can be tapped to pay for qualified health expenses. But if you don’t use the money in any given year, it can be rolled over all the way into retirement. At that point you can still use the funds to cover healthcare expenses, such as Medicare premiums, co-pays, and deductibles.

Consult with a financial advisor. Depending upon your situation, additional options might be available to you. Everyone will retire someday, so we all need a plan for the future. Call us to schedule a consultation, and we can help you identify opportunities that align with your short- and long-term goals.