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Learning, Sharing, and Teaching => Ask a Mustachian => Topic started by: roorange on August 27, 2015, 12:36:30 PM

Title: A Mustachian Freelancer?
Post by: roorange on August 27, 2015, 12:36:30 PM
Hi all,

In the coming months, I will be transitioning from my 9 to 5 to working as a freelance python/data developer. I've worked as a freelancer before, have 7 months of savings in my non-retirement accounts, and will be relocating to a city (Berlin!) with far lower living costs while things take off. My partner is relocating with me, and we're both avid mustachians.

I've been doing some research into the types of things that I should get going as a mustachian freelancer. The first, of course, seems to be setting up some sort of a retirement account to replace my 401k. After some research, I am leaning towards a SEP-IRA -- it seems that the paperwork is relatively minimal, and the ability to contribute 20 to 25 percent of my profit, up to a maximum of $53,000, is appealing. If I was to make over 68k in a year, it seems that I would come out ahead, since I would be able to invest more than the $17k max in a regular 401k. I'm thinking of setting it up with Vanguard, since I have all of my other stuff with them anyways.

Does anyone else have experience with setting up retirement accounts as a freelancer working towards FIRE? Any other tips/things that I should keep in mind while working towards this goal? Any book recommendations that other freelancers on here have found helpful? I'm particularly interested in books that go over personal business finance/accounting.
Title: Re: A Mustachian Freelancer?
Post by: LZZ on August 27, 2015, 01:48:13 PM

I went with Vaguard SEP-IRA 10 years ago.  It is simple and easy.

I'm sure others will comment on why a SEP 401(k) may be better (although I've seen people comment that Vanguard does not have the best SEP 401(k) set up/options cos you can't buy Admiral shares or something like that). 
But when I started freelancing I wasn't sure how long I would be doing it, so went the simple/easy way.
Title: Re: A Mustachian Freelancer?
Post by: terran on August 27, 2015, 06:04:11 PM
A solo 401k has the same 20% of earnings employer contribution, but it also allows an 18k employee contribution. It has the same 53k max, but you can hit it at a much lower income than you can with a SEP.
Title: Re: A Mustachian Freelancer?
Post by: roorange on September 06, 2015, 02:29:09 PM
Thanks for the suggestion! It seems that the solo 401k is the best option. I might go ahead and do the SEP IRA for this year, and then switch to doing the solo 401k next year, since I will only be freelancing starting in November this year.