Sole Saver

Even a one-person operation can enjoy the benefits of a 401(k) plan.
2 min read

Maybe you're so busy with your business on eBay that you don't have a spare minute to think about your retirement plan. Or perhaps you have thought about it but figure an IRA is all that's available to you as a sole proprietor. A 401(k) plan, however, is within your reach as an entrepreneur on eBay, says Stephan Roche, vice president and general manager of the Small Business Group at ShareBuilder, an online investment brokerage in Bellevue, Washington.

No longer just the province of corporate employees, you can enjoy the benefits of a 401(k) plan, even as a small, one-person operation. It's tax-deferred retirement savings, of course, but unlike other retirement plans, you can take loans and hardship withdrawals from a traditional 401(k)--and pay yourself back.

Designed to be easy to manage online, a 401(k) provides you with preselected investment portfolios based on your risk tolerance. A plethora of retirement planning tools can be found at www.sharebuilder.com, and entrepreneurs can go online anytime to adjust or change their plans. "You set up your savings plan, and it goes on autopilot," says Roche. "As an eBay seller, you can manage it whenever you have a moment to do it."

For a one-time $195 setup fee, a $15 monthly administration fee and a 0.75 percent asset fee, you can launch your 401(k). And should your company grow, ShareBuilder provides tiered services that enable you to quickly add employees. "A 401(k) can be very flexible and can grow with a company," says Roche. "For somebody who is a sole proprietor today and is planning to have 10 employees next year or 100 employees in three years, a 401(k) is a perfect solution--because other retirement solutions do not grow with you like that."

Check out www.sharebuilder401k.com for more information.

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