Due Designer Guide
Retirement planning for designers
Life after work starts here
Stay between the lines
What is a retirement plan for designers?
Taxes made simple
Why choose Due for your retirement fund?
Due gives you control of your retirement. Whether you’re employed and making the most of a 401(k) plan or a freelance designer with only your own savings to fall back on, you should have your own retirement fund. Due gives you an easy, predictable way to put money aside for your retirement.
Applying for an account is free and takes about two minutes. In less than the time it takes to draw an outline, your retirement plan can be up and running.
State of the Designing Community
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THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO BECOMING A
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job outlook for graphic designers from 2012-2022 is expected to grow by 7% – which is slower than the average of other occupations. Does that mean that the profession is declining?
It means the industry faces tough competition. That isn’t an excuse for you to not pursue a career in design. Instead, this is an opportunity for you to learn the skills and insights to become a leading designer that clients and companies will want to hire.
If that sounds like something you want to explore, then check out this handy guide on becoming a designer. We’ll show you where to learn to become a designer and freelancing secrets that while give you a competitive advantage.
Chapters - Designer
The best answer is: “as much as possible.” If you’re salaried and have a 401(k) plan with matching contributions, you should contribute enough to take all of those contributions. Freelance designers won’t have matching contributions but they should aim to save enough to be able to live on 4% of their total savings one day with help from Social Security.
Calculate the amount you think you’ll need to live on each year, deduct your expected annual Social Security earnings, and multiply by 25. That’s your target.
Retirement funds come in a variety of different forms, with different benefits and different advantages. At Due, we offer annuities, pensions, and 401(k) plans. While 401(k) plans are best used by employers looking for a way to help their employees, there are versions available for self-employed designers and for designers who take work on the side. Annuities let designers swap a monthly contribution or a lump sum for a monthly payment in the future. Pensions give a fixed return.
All of those plans will suit a designer, whether they’re salaried, freelance, or partly self-employed.
Design work can be rewarding and enjoyable. It might well be something you want to continue doing long after you’ve left your employer and ditched the nine-to-five. You might want to retire early because you plan to sell your designs part-time and supplement a fixed income.
But the age at which you retire will affect the size of your distributions.
Any distributions taken before the age of 59.5, will come with a penalty. Delaying Social Security after the age of 62 adds 8% each year until you start receiving payments at the age of 70. At the age of 70.5, you must start receiving distributions from any pre-tax retirement plans.
The right age for you to retire is up to you. It will depend on how much you want to live on, and how much of your own design work, if any, you want to continue doing after retirement.
If you want to continue designing after you’ve retired, you are of course free to do so. But make sure that you’re in a position to decide whether you want to work and how much you want to work. Your decision should be one you make out of passion and desire, not out of need. Save now. Save regularly. Earn that 3% interest rate. Then decide how much you want to continue designing—or not!
No one is good at saving! The average American family has about $40,000 in liquid savings. Between the ages of 55 and 64, those savings rise to $57,200, and reach $67,700 between 65 and 74. People with higher education tend to save much more but designers can struggle depending on the type of designs they produce and the way they work.
Saving for the future means taking control, creating a habit, and sticking to it.