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Contribute to work 403b vs solo 401k?

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  • Contribute to work 403b vs solo 401k?

    I currently contribute to my employers 403b. I max out my 18k, and my employer makes a contribution as well. My employer's contribution is automatic, and not a match or dependent on my contribution. I have 1099 income, and would like to open a solo 401k. My primary motivation in doing so is so I can transfer an old IRA into it and be eligible for a back door roth. I plan to use Fidelity, and they suggested that to be in the spirit of the law, if I open a solo 401K I should contribute to it regularly. I have considered stopping contributions to my employer's 403B and maxing out the solo 401(k) instead, so that I would have greater flexibility in managing these contributions. Any downsides to not contributing to my work provided plan?

  • #2
    Sounds like a reasonable plan.  If you can put in $18k into your i401k I'd do that.  You probably have more fund choice, lower fees, etc.  The only thing you may want to look at though is whether there is a Roth option and potential for after tax dollar contributions (see recent WCI blog post about this).

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    • #3
      Point of clarification, if you have a 1099/solo-401k option and a W2/403b option can't you max out the 403b and put 20% of 1099 income toward the solo 401k? Why is this an either/or?

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      • #4
        Fidelity doesn't offer a Roth option. Look at TDA if you're interested in that. I'd personally choose TDA

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        • #5
          As @MochaDoc stated, there is no reason to cease contributing to the 403b in favor of the SOLO-k, especially given that your intent is to use the solo-k as a receptacle for your pre-tax IRA to allow for a tax-free backdoor Roth conversion. Since you have a 403b at work, the aggregation rules allow you no more than $54k contribution across all accounts ($60k if age 50+).

          You can contribute up to 20% of your net taxable income to the solo-k, which is almost certainly less than 20% of your 1099 income. As @Miss_Bonnie_MD stated, you'll need a different custodian if you want to a Roth option. TDA is, imo, one of the best.
          Working to protect good doctors from bad advisors. Fox & Co CPAs, Fox & Co Wealth Mgmt. 270-247-6087

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