It’s easy to forget about yourself as an entrepreneur — to get so wrapped up in the health of a business that you’re willing to neglect your own. You forego vacations, run on minimal sleep, and pour your savings into bringing company visions to life.
There comes a time, however, when you need to remove the blinders. Because with the flexibility and ownership of self-employment comes responsibility.
As it relates to your financial health, you no longer have internal departments to fall back on in organizing the logistics around retirement contributions. It’s on you — and the 42% of business owners unsure of their plans for retirement — to do the research, look ahead, and plan accordingly.
Here are some considerations every entrepreneur should keep in mind when approaching the subject of retirement planning.
Keep Your Retirement Savings Separate
In managing your business’ finances, especially in the beginning, it’s easy for the waters to get muddied. It’s not uncommon to invest your own money upfront and throughout when getting operations up and running.
The more you can separate business expenses from personal though, the better off you’ll be in the long run. As it relates to your savings, try to keep any money put aside for retirement separate from personal accounts you might also be contributing to. Making a habit out of footing the bills of your business with money from your retirement savings is an easy way to end up with nothing when you need it most.
Diversify Your Portfolio
The beauty of saving for retirement is that you don’t have to put all of your eggs in one basket. On the contrary, you’d probably be better off diversifying your portfolio across a variety of investment types.
Have Money Automatically Deducted for Retirement
A lot of entrepreneur’s get nervous about contributing to retirement because of the uncertainty that comes with running a company. You never know when that extra change you stashed away for the future might come in handy for the growth of your business today.
And while this thought process may be justified, it’s not wise in the long-term. As money comes in every month, set up automatic deductions from your account to put towards retirement savings or investments. Doing so makes you less likely to 1) miss the money when it’s gone and 2) justify where it might be better spent.
Consult With a Financial Planner
You don’t know what you don’t know. And if finance is not your strong suit to begin with, make the call sooner rather than later to consult with an accountant.
More often than not, they’ll be able to advise you on retirement savings routes that make the most sense for self-employed individuals and business owners. Additionally, they’ll likely offer insight on how to maximize tax-savings based on your contributions.
Put Dividends Back Into Your Investments
Similar to having automatic deductions set up for retirement, if you receive dividends from any stocks or savings plans currently, consider funneling them back into your investments. This can usually be done automatically — turning small change into big savings down the road.