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Resident with moonlighting income, roth solo 401k or whatt?

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  • Resident with moonlighting income, roth solo 401k or whatt?

    Hey all, new to this forum but not new to WCI. Been a follower and a believer (tell you in 30 years) for 4-5 years now. I have some questions about what to do next.

    Brief numbers: residency income ~55k (W2), moonlighting income ~60k (1099). Max out 457 and both my wife and I's Roth IRAs--all in Vanguard target fund right now. Education debt: 40k @ 6.6%. Total retirement accounts ~100k. Emergency plan is funded.


    As an aside, I know that WCI recommends paying off the 6.6% rate educational debt first but I have my reasons to slowly pay my loans right now. I will pay them off within 18-24 months (awaiting windfall).

    For the last tax year, I was going to open a solo 401k but didn't realize there was a Dec 31 deadline so I opened and contributed 4k into a SEP-IRA at vanguard.

    For this tax year, I had some considerations I was hoping I could get some guidance on:

    1. I am thinking to open a roth solo 401k and max it out. This way I get roth contributions and still get a pretax break from the 'employer' contribution. Other option is to just do a regular solo 401k and decrease my taxes now. Which option would you recommend?

    2. What are my options for my sep-ira from last year? I would rather consolidate it into fewer accounts rather than have a bunch of accounts. I was told I can roll it over to my Roth IRA or Roth 401k (@ e-trade, not vanguard) but would have to pay taxes on it. What would you recommend?

    Thank you so much.


  • #2
    With the limited information provided, it sounds as if you did the right thing by contributing to a SEP for 2015. Next steps:

    1. Open a SOLO-k with a Roth option. Roll the SEP into the traditional K and you won't pay taxes ~or~ roll into the Roth-K and you will not owe taxes. You can also do partial Roth and partial pre-tax. Tax planning will be very helpful.

    2. You can also opt to contribute to the pre-tax (trad) K to get a tax deduction. Again, tax planning would be very beneficial.

    Tax planning/projections will help you clarify not just immediate consequences, but long-term effects of the decisions you make today. As you will be in a much higher tax bracket in the next few years (presumably), it is important to consider the comprehensive results of your choices.

    You did not mention contributing to a back-door Roth. If you have no plans to do so, leaving the SEP "as is" will not affect tax-wise but will, as you mentioned, complicate your paperwork.
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