How to Plan for Retirement in the Gig Economy
Gig workers, like everyone else, deserve the opportunity to retire. That means freelancers, contract workers, the self-employed, temp workers, on-call employees, and those with side hustles; the number of people who earn a living outside of traditional full-time employment makes up a huge portion of our economy. There are current estimates of 57 million Americans participating in some form of gig work.
The COVID-19 pandemic has only heightened the gig economy, with freelance and gig marketplaces like Gigspot and Upwork both reporting increases in their users since March of last year. Some projections show freelance workers will account for half the U.S. workforce by 2023.
In January of this year, Statista published results from a survey conducted in 2018 showing 27 percent of full-time gig workers had no money saved for retirement. While the flexibility and autonomy of self-employment can be appealing to many, the lack of employer-sponsored 401Ks, fluctuating incomes, and insufficient financial guidance can make long-term financial planning difficult and daunting.
But this doesn't have to be the case. Saving for retirement as a gig worker is not only possible; it also affords certain benefits full-time employees might not find. While retirement may feel far away for many freelancers, preparation for it starts today.