Danielle Corcione hasn’t started saving for retirement yet.
As a full-time freelance journalist without a fixed income, the notion of putting away money for the future just hasn’t felt accessible. “It’s one of those things that I don’t even bother with because I don’t think it’s even realistic,” Corcione said. “If I wanted to save for retirement I’d probably get a staff job because I don’t know how it would ever be possible as a freelancer.”
Corcione is one of at least 56.7 million freelancers working in the U.S. today. In recent years, the gig economy has mushroomed to represent roughly 35% of Americans — and rising. Today, freelancers face a number of challenges, such as late payments and lack of protections, which have prompted several initiatives and resources, such as the Freelance Isn’t Free act in New York City. Even so, most freelancers are forced to figure things out on their own. Without the standard retirement savings plans available to staff employees, the onus remains upon freelance workers to save for their own retirement — something that not all of them feel able to do.
To shed some light on some retirement strategies for freelancers or workers without a fixed income, Refinery29 chatted with Alison Norris, Certified Financial Planner who leads SoFi’s financial advice strategy and Paco de Leon, founder of The Hell Yeah Group, which helps creatives understand their finances and take tangible steps towards saving for tomorrow — no matter what their work lifestyle looks like.