Freelancers & Retirement: Invest, Don’t Just Save

by Randy Murray on November 12, 2013

For more than a few years I was a business manager. One of the most difficult things that I tried to do, and mostly failed at, was to convince employees to invest part of their earnings. I tried saying, “Every PRE TAX dollar that you set aside for your future will be matched by the company up to X percent. FREE MONEY!” or “Since it’s PRE TAX it might not even affect your take home pay!”  It was very difficult to get through to most people. It was very difficult to get workers, especially young ones, to invest for their own future. Some even told me, “I’m never going to be able to retire.”

I have a lot of freelance friends. And I worry that they aren’t investing, too.

It’s not enough to save money. Yes, as a freelancer you need a reserve of cash to smooth out the feast and famine cycles. But that won’t do it for the future. Putting money away for the future, just saving, isn’t enough. The simple, minimal interest that you’ll earn will most certainly be lost to inflation. The only way that freelancers have a hope for financial stability and a more secure future is to invest.

I’m not going to recommend investment strategies or give you stock tips. I’m just begging you to find a way to start now and do SOMETHING. Even just a few dollars every month can make a difference if you start early enough. IRAs, especially the ROTH IRA, are excellent tools for freelancers. What you invest in is something that I can’t help you with. You might consider stock index funds, but work that out for yourself.

I can be a freelancer now because very early in our lives together my wife and I made a commitment to saving and investing. I have the financial freedom to do the type of work that I want because of those investments. Yes, I earn a very good living as a professional business writer, but our future and our potential retirement is made possible because of our investments.

Here’s my advice to everyone, freelancers and employees, too: find someone you know who has been successful working and investing. Talk with them about how they do that. That real, personal advice might help you create a strategy for yourself.

Then start investing, now.

Freelancers & Retirement: Invest, Don’t Just Save by Randy Murray, unless otherwise expressly stated, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

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