One of the biggest retirement plan questions for small practice owners is whether to set up a SIMPLE IRA or a 401(k) as their first retirement plan. Often, practice owners opt for a SIMPLE IRA only because there are no administrative costs associated with operating this plan. In some cases this can be a big mistake, especially if you have the ability to contribute significantly more to a 401(k) plan.

While it is true that SIMPLE has no administrative cost, the biggest cost of using SIMPLE vs. a 401(k) is the income tax on the money that could be contributed to a 401(k) instead. For those in the highest tax brackets, this cost can be as high as 50 percent.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of SIMPLE IRA vs. the 401(k) plan, and how can you make an informed decision on selecting the best type of plan for your practice?

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