Entrepreneurship comes with many rewards, but also numerous challenges. One of the most significant challenges facing today’s small business owners is retirement planning. When you’re out on your own, without a corporate HR structure or benefits package to fall back on, you don’t necessarily have the luxury of company-match 401(k)s or other built-in retirement perks. Thus, it falls to you to make your own way, set your own agenda, and ultimately develop your own plan for comfortable retirement.

This is no small feat, but neither is it impossible. Consider some of the following steps as you work through your own retirement planning.

Set up a retirement account. The temptation many small business owners face is thinking that the business itself is all the investment they need; that when they are ready to retire they can effectively just cash out of their company and start living the easy life. This approach is fraught with risk, as there is simply no telling what will become of any small business. It’s better to have a separate retirement fund, such as an IRA. Speak with a financial advisor about establishing one.

Look into different options for retirement saving vehicles. As a small business owner, you may be able to use such investment models as a solo 401(k) or a Simplified Employee Pension Plan. Speak with your advisor to learn more.

Come up with a retirement budget. Think through the kind of lifestyle you hope to live. Involve your spouse or partner in the process. Plan for housing costs and healthcare expenses, and also factor in possible Social Security payments. Come up with a realistic sense of how much money you’re actually going to need to retire. This, too, is something a financial advisor can assist with.

Contribute to your retirement plan, every single month. As soon as you get paid, take some money off the table and toss it directly into your retirement account. Saving early and often is the best way to leverage compound interest and ensure a decent retirement nest egg.

Talk with your advisor often. Make a commitment to getting together to talk through your retirement goals at least a couple of times a year, adjusting and realigning as needed. Be sure to ask questions about risk and portfolio diversification, and ensure you know exactly what’s happening with your retirement savings vehicle.

Remember that all of this is a process: You’re building your retirement day by day, dollar by dollar, one financial planning meeting at a time. Be patient, but also hopeful. With the right advisement, it is possible for entrepreneurs to enjoy safe, comfortable retirements. Learn more by reaching out to the Stonepath Wealth Management planning team directly.