what if my employer doesn’t offer a 401(k)

If your employer doesn’t offer a 401(k) or other retirement plan, you're not alone. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, you're among 31% of all workers who don’t have access to an employer-sponsored retirement plan.1

But there’s no reason to worry. There are still many ways you can save for your retirement with no 401(k), such as:

Get a head start

Build a savings, and put money into it from every paycheck. The sooner begin saving money and investing, the more time your money has to work for you. If you're not putting money into some type of long-term investment vehicle, then you're missing out on all sorts of potential future wealth.

Ask your employer to start a plan

Tell them how important a retirement plan is to you. In casual conversations at work, find out how many other employees would like to have this important benefit. (Chances are, there are many!) You can even point out how it helps your employer: remind them that a retirement plan may help attract top-notch employees to your company – and there are business tax benefits as well.

Compare job offers

The next time you interview, carefully compare your job offers. Ask your prospective employers about available benefits, including a retirement plan such as a 401(k) and the employer match. Calculate the value, in dollars, of a potential employer match. If you're not offered one, try negotiating a higher salary to make up for the loss.

Get an individual retirement account

There are two types of individual retirement accounts (IRAs) you can consider: a traditional IRA and a Roth IRA. Both have advantages and disadvantages.

  • With a traditional IRA, your contributions are tax-deductible now. Withdrawals later are taxed as ordinary income. You can contribute to a traditional IRA until age 70½, and there are no income limitations.
  • With a Roth IRA, you pay taxes on contributions now – but any earnings grow tax-free. And after you retire, any withdrawals you take are tax-free. Also with the Roth, there is no limit to how long you can contribute.

Keep in mind that investing involves market risk, including possible loss of your principal.

[1] U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, March 2015. http://www.bls.gov/ncs/ebs/benefits/2015/ownership/civilian/table02a.htm

Keep in mind that neither Nationwide nor any of our representatives give legal or tax advice, contact your legal or tax advisor for such guidance.

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