Working from home certainly has its benefits; you can set your own hours, temper your workload, and keep your kids close throughout their formative years (throw out the boss and the morning commute and the perks seem even better).  However, there are drawbacks, as well.  Self-motivation is a constant struggle and building a book of clients can be a lot harder than you thought.  But one of the most difficult aspects of working for yourself is that you are entirely responsible for saving for your future retirement.  With no 401K to contribute to, you may find yourself reticent to earmark a portion of your monthly earnings for a Roth IRA or even a simple savings account.  After all, that money could be put to better use running your household.  But if you don’t start thinking about retirement now, it will be upon you in the blink of an eye.

Most work-at-home moms set their children as their first priority; otherwise, they would probably opt to return to their office jobs and send the kids off to daycare.  It is because they want the best for their children (a loving and stable environment for learning and growing that only a parent can provide) that they choose to combine the role of mother and bread-winner.  They give up the adult interaction that occurs in a professional environment as well as their ability to advance their career (in some cases).  It is a noble and self-sacrificing decision that puts the best interest of a child at the top of the list.  So why would you risk the future happiness of your child by choosing to ignore your retirement fund?

After all, who do you think will be forced to take care of you down the road?  If you decline to set up a savings plan for retirement, only one thing is assured: that you won’t have the money you need to take care of yourself when you retire.  Of course, you may have no plans to retire, but things don’t always go as we plan.  Suppose you have a medical emergency that forces you to retire, or that you simply don’t have the option to continue working (demand for your particular product or service dries up).  What will you do then?  With no savings in place to keep you afloat, your children may be forced to step in and care for you.  If you truly want the best for your children, then you’ll do what you have to now to prevent this burden from falling to them.

In short, you need to consider that even your best-laid plans could fail.  Your ability to care for yourself during your twilight years could depend largely on the decisions you make now concerning your retirement fund.  If you’re not sure how to start, seek the services of a financial planner.  A good firm can set you up with all the accounts you need to plan your retirement while helping you create a workable budget that suits your lifestyle right now.  Don’t hesitate: by putting it off, you’re only hurting yourself (and possibly your family) in the long run.

Jennifer Kardish is a writer for Roth IRA where you can find out information about 2010 Roth IRA conversions and learn how to open a Roth IRA as well as finding other tools and information to help you on the road to retirement.

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