The Basics of Building Your Own Self-Employed Benefits Package

Photo Courtesy: [Klaus Vedfelt/Getty Images]

Many American workers are increasingly participating in the “gig economy” — a workforce shift from traditional full-time salaried or hourly employment to self-employment, which involves offering services and talents as an independent contractor. Independent contractors are service providers who aren’t on organizations’ payrolls as employees. Instead, they work for themselves and may lead a more entrepreneurial professional path because they provide their services to multiple clients, often at the same time. While the gig life allows for some exciting flexibility and much-needed autonomy, it’s not without downsides. Living the freelance life eliminates the benefits that are often rolled into appealing employment packages for full-time workers.

Operating as an independent contractor doesn’t mean you can’t get or enjoy all of those benefits. But it does mean you’re now responsible to apply and pay for your own health, dental and vision insurance; make your own contributions to retirement accounts (and go without an employer matching those contributions); save up to fund your own vacations or time off; and potentially do without other benefits that an employer would typically cover.

It’ll take a bit more effort and plenty of research, but you can design your own holistic, self-assembled package boasting the insurance and retirement benefits you need most. We’ll walk you through the core components and strategies for crafting your own benefits package, whether you’re embarking on a new entrepreneurial journey or you’ve already fostered a successful freelance career.