Author Topic: Company doesn't offer 401k, how can I still save for retirement using pretax $?  (Read 1819 times)


  • Stubble
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  • Posts: 130
  • Age: 38
  • Location: NYC
I'm single, under 35, no plans to go to school, and would like to contribute to my retirement $20k+ pretax dollars each year. My company currently isn't offering a 401k, but will in a year/year and a half. For the time being, what is my best strategy in saving for retirement?

From my understanding I can contribute pretax dollars to the following accounts.

IRA max contribution is $5,500 (2015 number)

HSA max contribution is $3,350 (2015 number)

Is there anything else that I can do?

I was thinking of putting the remainder in a taxable account, but I don't know if I should keep that account open once I get access to a 401k. With that said, I feel like it would be too risky to withdraw the entire balance in a couple of years. I won't necessarily need the money, I just don't know if keeping it in the brokerage account long term is a good idea.


  • Magnum Stache
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  • Posts: 4422
  • Location: CT
You've identified the major ones, HSA and IRA. Sorry but your options are after tax investment account. I wouldn't draw from it to shore up a 401k when you do get one as a 401k is usually filled with money that you earn from your employer not money you've saved.

Get a different job with a different company or realize that a year/year and a half isn't that long of a time as far as these things go. One or the other depending on your temperament/goals.


  • Senior Mustachian
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  • Posts: 16248
  • Location: Just south of Canada
    • Here's how you can support science today:
... there are only two other things (besides the IRA and HSA) that I see that you could do;
1) request that your business implement their 401(k) strategy faster, even if they don't offer a match the first year.  Why the 1.5y time frame?
2) you could always start a side hustle and make it into a  business, paying yourself a small salary and creating your own 401(k) (which you can match contributions to yourself).  Obviously a heck of a lot more work and you need a side business that generates a fair bit of income.

otherwise--- yeah, there's not much else you can do.  1.5 years isn't that long so just max out your 401(k) as soon as it's available.