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J.K. Lasser's Guide to Self-Employment: Taxes, Tips, and Money-Saving Strategies for Schedule C Filers by Barbara Weltman

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CHAPTER 8

Protecting Yourself with Medical Coverage and Retirement Savings

As a self-employed person, you're on your own with no big company to look after you. It's up to you to make sure you have the protection you need for your health and for your retirement. Fortunately, the tax law offers a number of tax-advantaged ways to accomplish this. And smart business strategies can be used to make sure you have the protection you want.

Health care is now on the front burner because the individual mandate under the Affordable Care Act takes effect on January 1, 2014. Starting in 2014, every person (with limited exceptions) must carry health coverage for himself or herself and any dependent or pay a penalty. Even without the mandate, it's wise to be protected so that a serious illness or condition won't wipe out your life's savings and put you out of business. Premiums for self-employed individuals can be high, but there are several strategies you can use to get the coverage you need without going broke.

Not everyone hopes for retirement; many plan to work indefinitely, and that's fine. But if you plan to retire, or are forced to do so because of health or other reasons, be sure you have sufficient savings to provide a comfortable and secure retirement. The best way to do this is to set money aside ...

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