AARP Foundation Self-Saver™ is a self-employment tax tool designed to help self-employed workers withhold and submit quarterly taxes with ease. Powered by Track Technologies, Self-Saver aims to help self-employed people 50 and older achieve financial independence and security.
America has a retirement crisis. Even after a decade in which the economy rebounded from the Great Recession, the majority of Americans are still woefully unprepared for retirement.
This is especially true for older adults, many of whom saw their retirement savings decimated by the crash. Boomers were hit particularly hard during the recession, as many of them saw their earnings drop right when they were in the final years before retirement.
For these people, preparing for retirement is not as simple as “catching up.” Time is not on their side and the high levels of unemployment during the recession left many unable to regain their previous pay scales. They’ve fallen off the income-earning ladder and have not been able to climb back up in time to afford retirement.
As a result, many older adults who are facing income and employment challenges are turning to self-employment and entrepreneurship.
Self-employment has traditionally been a way for older adults to supplement income or to pursue a passion. But more and more, this is not just a way to make money when traditional job opportunities are scarce; it’s the only viable income stream.
According to a 2014 study from Prosperity Now, many older workers did turn to business creation and self-employment over the last decade to address financial vulnerabilities. Another study found that adults between the ages of 55-65 recently accounted for 26% of all startups, up from 15% in 1996.
Self-employment has proven to be a viable option for many older adults looking to support themselves or earn extra income. But being self-employed adds an extra layer of complexity come tax time. The Prosperity Now study found that difficulty managing cash flow, especially at tax time, is the challenge most frequently reported by self-employed workers.
This is especially true for many older entrepreneurs, who have spent much of their working lives as employees. Older adults who turn to self-employment are unfamiliar with most aspects of managing the taxes and expenses that come with a business of one.
For that, AARP Foundation has a solution.
Self-Help with Self-Saver
AARP Foundation has collaborated with Track Technologies to create Self-Saver, a tax tool that uses machine learning technology to help users automatically anticipate and manage tax payments related to self-employment, giving them a better handle on the expenses that go with working for yourself.
Self-Saver handles customers’ self-employment liabilities by calculating the taxes on each payment they receive, withholding the right amount into an FDIC-ensured account, and submitting estimated quarterly taxes to the IRS. Self-Saver also gives customers the option to organize their business expenses, which may help to reduce their tax bill.
Benefits of Self-Saver:
- Self-Saver’s services cover all workers in multiple categories, including self-employed, contract, freelance, gig, and more, across all industries.
- Customers have the flexibility to opt-in or out of different levels of automation, including automatic withholding and expense tracking triggered by machine learning.
- Self-employed users can feel more secure, knowing that their self-employment taxes are being taken care of. They show a decreased risk of falling into debt or being unable to make timely tax payments.
- Self-Saver’s user-friendly platform, accessible via desktop, mobile web app, and iOS app, includes a robust online customer support system.
- Self-Saver provides users with easily digestible self-employment tax education through our product, website, and educational materials. This provides them with the knowledge they need to be better prepared for self-employment taxes each quarter.
While other existing products help with tax calculations and automated savings, Self-Saver is specifically designed with older adults in mind, doing the calculating, withholding, and submitting for the taxpayer so that they will never miss a payment. Self-Saver is available for free through April 15, 2019. Sign up today at self-saver.org.