Ready For Retirement: Freelance Finances

This financial planning reference guide is based on our 11th Lone Star Mixer Mixer panel discussion, Retirement Ready. We cover some crucial terms and products relevant to both self-employed freelancers as well as W-2 staff members.


2/16/20242 min read

a group of men sitting on chairs in a room
a group of men sitting on chairs in a room

IRA (Individual Retirement Account)

A savings account offering tax advantages for retirement savings, with several types, including Traditional and Roth IRAs, each with unique tax implications.


A retirement plan sponsored by employers, allowing pre-tax savings and investments. Self-employed individuals can opt for a Solo 401(k), designed for business owners without employees.


Refers to investment gains that accumulate without immediate tax liability until the investor withdraws the funds.

Roth IRA/401(k)

Retirement accounts where contributions are made after-tax, but withdrawals, including earnings, are tax-free under certain conditions.

SEP IRA (Simplified Employee Pension)

A retirement plan allowing self-employed individuals to contribute a significant portion of their income towards retirement, with higher limits than traditional IRAs.

SIMPLE IRA (Savings Incentive Match Plan for Employees)

A plan for small businesses and self-employed individuals to make retirement contributions for themselves and their employees.


An insurance product that provides a steady income stream, often used as part of retirement planning.


The strategy of spreading investments across various assets to reduce risk.

Asset Allocation

Balancing risk and reward in a portfolio based on personal goals, risk tolerance, and investment timeframe.

Compound Interest

The process where an investment earns interest, not only on the principal amount but also on the accumulated interest.

Mutual Fund

An investment vehicle pooling funds from many investors to purchase a diversified portfolio of stocks, bonds, or other securities.

ETF (Exchange-Traded Fund)

A type of fund traded on stock exchanges, holding assets like stocks or bonds, with its price fluctuating throughout the trading day.

Capital Gains

The profit from selling a capital asset like stocks or real estate for more than the purchase price.


Moving funds from one retirement account to another, like from a 401(k) to an IRA, without tax penalties.


A financial advisor who is legally required to act in the client's best interest.

Index Fund

A mutual fund designed to follow certain preset rules so that the fund can track a specified basket of underlying investments.

REIT (Real Estate Investment Trust)

Companies that own or finance income-producing real estate, allowing investors to invest in large-scale real estate.

Risk Tolerance

An individual's comfort level with the potential for financial loss in their investment portfolio.


The ease with which an investment can be converted into cash without affecting its market value.


The process by which an employee gains ownership of employer contributions to retirement plans or stock options over time.

During our 11th Lone Star Mixer Mixer on February 4, 2024, our panel discussion focused on the topic of "Retirement Ready". The hour-plus discussion touched on lots of different retirement vehicles and terms, so we put together this glossary of terms and popular products to reference back as you begin, or continue, your financial planning adventures. Whether you are self-employed or a staff member, it's never too early to start planning for your retirement!

If you have an hour to spare, watch the entire discussion below!

Pictured (L to R): Christopher Bigbie (Dependable Expendables), Nick Huston (Gotham Sound), Justin Cleveland (Belvin, Cleveland, & Associates), Jack Cline (Vandelay Sound Exports)