I’m not sure about you all, but I tend to think about how I’m going to make enough money so that when I’m hanging out in my golden years, I’ll have money to live off of. It’s a common thing people think about, stress over. Maybe it’s not the typical thoughts of people in their twenties, but as they say, the earlier you start saving the better off you’ll be. Further, we’ve had people coming in asking about various retirement choices and what would suit them best. Hold on to your seat belts, it’s about to get exciting here.

Traditional IRA

  • Anyone with an earned income who is younger than 70.5 can contribute
  • Reduce taxes when you put money in account
  • Require you to start taking required minimum distributions at age 70.5

Roth IRA

  • Have income eligibility restrictions
    • Ex: single tax filers must have an adjusted gross income less than $131,000
  • Reduce taxes when you take money out of the account
  • Don’t mandate withdrawals during owner’s lifetime; can continue to grow tax-free throughout lifetime
  • Beneficiaries don’t owe income tax on withdrawals

***NOTE*** Deciding to contribute to a Traditional IRA or a Roth IRA should depend on whether you expect your income tax rate in retirement to be higher or lower than what you currently pay.


  • Type of Traditional IRA for self-employed people (Self Employed Pension)
  • Anyone with one or more employees can have a SEP
  • Contributions are tax deductible for the business or individual
  • Money is not taxed until withdrawn
  • Can contribute up to 25% of income or $53,000, whichever is less


  • Employer sponsored retirement plan
  • Sometimes used as a way to distribute company stock
  • Employees choose to take a cash compensation or defer a percentage to their account
  • Contribution deferral max for an individual is $17,500 and an employee/employer contribution limit is $51,000
  • Can usually only be withdrawn by employee reached at age 59.5, termination of plan, death, retirement or leave of employer

Keogh – HR(10)

  • Available to self-employed individuals or unincorporated businesses
  • Contributions are tax deductible up to 25% of annual income
  • Funds can be accessed as early as 59.5 but must begin by 70.5
  • Higher upkeep cost than SEP due to considerable administrative paperwork and complicated set up
  • Contribution limits are higher tailored for the higher earning professionals and self-employed individuals due to their business advantages.


  • Known as Tax Sheltered Annuity (TSA) schizophrenic
  • Available to certain employees in public schools, ministries and nonprofit organizations
  • Employers choose which financial institution employees may have an account, which determines the type of 403(b) accounts
  • Employees
    • Have a reduced taxable income through pre-taxed contributions
    • If contributions are made to a Roth 403(b) account, earnings can be tax free
    • Ability to take loans from 403(b) account

As you can see, there are quite a lot of options! Like choosing the right bank for you, there’s no right or wrong answer when choosing a pension plan. Weigh the pros and cons of each, which you are qualified for, and decide based of what works best for your life. Of course, though, if you have any questions, do some research on your own, talk to a financial adviser or your accountant. These outlets will have tons of information to share with you as well as speaking with family about what they have found to work best for them.

Lastly, it’s never too early to start thinking ahead! No matter which way you go, think of it as that little piggy bank you had as a kid where you put spare change for a rainy day!