SEP IRA vs Solo 401(k): Which Makes You Rich?

The answer is…it depends!

One nice thing, the government does help you in both types of plans. Uncle Sam, with both the SEP IRA and the solo 401(k) retirement plans, allows your investment in your tax-favored retirement:

  1. to be deductible when you invest the money in the plan,

2. grows tax-deferred inside the plan, and

3. suffers taxes only when you take the money from the plan.



Example. You invest $1,000 a month in your retirement. You are in the 40 percent tax bracket (combined federal and state), and you earn 10 percent on your investments. At the end of 30 years, you have $1.58 million in after-tax spendable cash, which comes from (in round numbers):

  • $1.2 million in after-tax cash from the retirement plan ($2 million gross less 40 percent in taxes — we’re taking the entire amount out of the plan in this example)
  • $380,000 in the side fund (created by investing the $400 of monthly tax savings — $1,000 deduction x 40 percent)

If you had no government help on the taxes and invested $1,000 a month in an investment that earned 10 percent (6 percent after taxes), you would have a little more than $950,000.

Winner. The retirement plan wins by $630,000 — after taxes ($1.58 million vs $950,000).

Okay, that’s the big picture. It tells you that tax-advantaged investing multiplies profits. So, do it.

Which Plan Is Best for You?

When it comes to picking a retirement plan, you have many choices. If you have no employees in your business, none of the choices are bad. Let’s start there and say you have no employees.

And let’s say further that you are going to choose between the

SEP IRA and the solo 401(k).

Planning point. As a one-person business, you can operate as a C or S corporation, single member-LLC, or proprietorship and have either the SEP IRA or the solo 401(k).


If you have any questions you can reach our office at:

Phone: (888) 808-8278
Monday-Thursday 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM (Pacific)

Thank you for listening!

Kenner French, is a former small business contributor at, author of three books, an executive at AI-focused, a keynote speaker, and a Dave Matthews Band fan!



Kenner French

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...of ABC's Shark Tank says in this video that Kenner is using AI "in an innovative way to help (entrepreneurs) save on taxes." Kenner has saved hundreds (if not thousands) of entrepreneurs IRS/tax dollars, increase wealth, and protect their financial legacy. His strategy can work for you as it has so many entrepreneurs across the globe!
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