In retirement, one should plan ahead, and a 401(k) plan is one of the most solid, traditional options out there. But are 401(k)s the only avenue to post-retirement success? The answer may surprise you.

The good news is that even without a 401(k) plan, you can retire well off. Nevertheless, you’ll need to start putting your ducks in a row early. Also, some alternatives to a traditional 401(k) may have higher risks. But, before you let your mind wander, let’s delve into the varied options.

Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs)

One ever-popular alternative to a traditional 401(k), and one you likely think of first when discussing retirement account alternatives, is the IRA. In terms of IRA formats, there are two to consider. The first is a traditional IRA, while the second is a Roth IRA. 

Investors will notice a few key differences between an IRA and a traditional 401(k). In contrast to 401(k)s, contribution limits are lower for IRAs. An additional consideration with IRAs is that they do not have company match options like many 401(k)s offered by employers. 

In spite of their downsides, both Roth IRAs and traditional IRAs offer several benefits to consider. IRAs offer more investment options than 401(k)s. With these popular accounts, you can choose how your investments are made. When it comes time to withdraw from an IRA, there are no mandatory minimum withdrawals at specific ages and qualified withdrawals are tax-free on Roth IRAs. 

By leveraging the company match on a 401(k) and investing any extra funds into an IRA or Roth IRA, investors can get the best of both worlds.

Individual, Non-Retirement Investing

By managing your own investment portfolio, you enjoy unparalleled control over your investments. Investors who do so can take advantage of a wide range of strategies, such as the seasonality of stocks. Additionally, investors should consider leveraging stocks with healthy dividends that typically pay out quarterly for each share held.

These types of investments come with a far higher level of risk since individual investors lack the same experience as professionals working for investment companies. Even so, investing on your own can be an excellent method for building wealth for your retirement. 

Health Savings Accounts

A health savings account could benefit your retirement budget in an unexpected way. HSAs, or health savings accounts, are tax-free investments designed to cover medical expenses throughout the year. 

Unless used, HSA funds roll over into the next year. Unlike a flexible spending account or FSA, it’s not a use-it-or-lose-it situation. In the event that you remain healthy or do not withdraw funds from an HSA, the account can grow substantially.

Similar to IRAs, they have a maximum contribution amount. If someone withdraws for medical expenses, they will not be penalized. Once you retire, you can withdraw at any time for any reason. Since the contributions to these accounts aren’t taxed when you make them, they are taxed as income when you withdraw them in retirement.

Those planning their retirement have several options to choose from. Investors no longer have to travel the 401(k) route exclusively. Combining a few of these retirement-saving strategies will have you sitting pretty when it’s time to leave the cubicle. 

This content was originally published here.

In this article: