A solo Roth 401k plan is a retirement plan that is available to everyone, regardless of income. This type of retirement account is preferable for many people over a Roth IRA because they can contribute significantly more to their retirement savings each year. For instance, in 2014, you can contribute a maximum of $17,500 per year to a 401k as opposed to just $5,500 to an IRA.
Even so, a Roth 401k is not for everyone. There are certain people for which it will be more beneficial than for others. It is important to understand how a Roth 401k works before deciding if this type of account is for you. To begin with, a Roth 401k is exactly like a traditional 401k, except the money that is contributed to the account is done so on an after-tax basis. This means you pay income tax on the money before it is put into the account. When you retire, you do not have to pay taxes on any of your money in this type of plan.
As a result of this main difference, your choice between a traditional solo 401k and a solo Roth 401k comes down to whether you think your income tax rate will be higher when you contribute the money or when you withdraw it after retirement. If you think your tax rate will be higher when you retire, a Roth 401k will probably give you more money. In addition, there could be some estate benefits in terms of taxes by choosing a Roth 401k because if you die, your heirs will not have to pay taxes on the funds in your account.
The Best Candidates for Solo Roth 401k Accounts:
Even with the potential tax benefits of a Roth 401k, there are still some people who are more suited for this type of retirement account than others. For instance, if you are relatively young and are not presently earning a high income but you expect that to change over the years, investing in a Roth 401k could be a better option for you. This is because you are currently in a lower tax bracket than you will be in the future. Therefore, you will pay lower taxes on your contributions now than you will when you withdraw it in retirement.
If you think the government will increase income tax rates in the future, then you are probably better off contributing to a Roth 401k account to pay lower taxes now. However, this is difficult to predict because you can’t know for sure what future governments are going to do to keep the economy on track. Income rates today are low when compared with rates in the past. If you follow that trend, then a traditional 401k may be a better option.
Another reason to contribute to a Roth 401k instead of a traditional 401k is that you might want to reduce your taxes on future Social Security benefits. Withdrawals from qualified solo Roth 401k plans are excluded from taxable income when the government calculates your Social Security taxes. Traditional 401k funds are required to be included in this calculation, but Roth 401k funds are not. In this way, you might be able to eke out more money in Social Security than you would otherwise receive.
Solo Cautions on a Roth 401k:
If you do decide a solo Roth 401k account is the way to go for you, keep in mind that there are a few important considerations to think about before making that first deposit. First, Roth contributions are irrevocable. You cannot decide at a later date that you want to switch your Roth contributions to a traditional 401k plan. In addition, your contributions to a Roth account are taxed at the rate that is in effect the year the contributions are made. You cannot decide to pay the tax rate at the time of retirement if it is lower. You do have the option of rolling over your Roth 401k funds to a Roth IRA account if you wish to in the future.
Finally, there is no requirement for you to take a distribution from a solo Roth 401k at any time. With many accounts, you have to start taking payments at a specific age, but with Roth accounts of any type, you are not required to do so. This can really help with tax planning in retirement to help you save money on your Social Security benefits.
Investing in a 401k plan is a popular retirement strategy these days. There is little question as to whether or not you should put your money in a 401k. Rather, the question becomes should you put it in a Roth account or a traditional account. Carefully examine the reasons why you should choose one or the other and then get started on funding your golden years.
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