WMU News

Self-employed can have 401Ks too

June 27, 2002

KALAMAZOO -- Among the tax code changes ushered in Jan. 1 is a little-known provision that allows some small business owners to open inexpensive solo 401(k) accounts, according to a local expert who will talk at a Western Michigan University presentation Monday, July 8, in Battle Creek.

WMU alumnus Kurt L. Rhode of the e$tate group will present "Solo 401(k) for the Self-Employed" from 6 to 8 p.m. at WMU-Battle Creek's Kendall Center, 50 West Jackson. Part of a monthly series co-sponsored by WMU's Women's Business Development Center and the Battle Creek Area Chamber of Commerce, the program is free and open to the public.

"Many tax professionals have not yet received guidance regarding the solo 401(k)s," says Rhode. "They are a great option for sole proprietorships, C or S corporations, partnerships or husband-and-wife teams. One of the most useful provisions is that individuals can roll all their SEPs, IRAs or even 401(k)s from previous employers into this one account. Right now, it's the only vehicle that allows people to merge unlike tax-deferred retirement accounts. And in some cases, the solo 401(k) allows entrepreneurs to put away two to three times the amount allowed by other tax deferred plans without the administrative cost or complexity."

In his talk, Rhode will detail the benefits and workings of the solo 401(k) accounts, including the loan option provision and 24/7 account access. The accounts, he notes, work especially well for small business owners in fields such as real estate, law, accounting, chiropractic medicine and traditional medicine.

Rhode is a senior partner at the e$tate group, an investment counseling and estate plan advisory firm in Battle Creek. He has more than 20 years experience in the financial services industry and is a founding partner of the company, which currently manages more than $30 million in assets. Along with his partner Bruce Juergens, for the past 11 years Rhode has answered listener questions on radio station WBCK during the Wednesday morning "Money Matters" program. An active community volunteer, Rhode is president of Burnham Brook/Senior Services of South Central Michigan and a member of the governing board of the Service Area III B Agency on Aging. He has held a host of other volunteer leadership positions with a variety of agencies, including the Heritage Society, the Community Action Agency of South Central Michigan, the Adoption Cradle of Michigan and the Battle Creek Area Chamber of Commerce, and he served for five years as a Calhoun County Commissioner. Rhode earned his bachelor's degree in accounting and management from WMU.

Reservations are required. For more information or to reserve a seat, contact the Battle Creek Area Chamber of Commerce at (269) 962-4076.

Media contact: Jessica English, 269 387-8400, jessica.english@wmich.edu

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