At bSolo we uncovered a big problem faced by independent workers today: most freelancers, including those with high incomes, struggle to save for their post-work years. According to the US Treasury, only 15 percent of independent workers who earned between $65,000 and $110,000 in 2014 made a retirement savings contribution that year, compared to 55 percent of the traditionally employed workforce.
Independent workers are growing so rapidly that they are predicted to represent half of the U.S. workforce by 2050. How is it possible that they are saving so little compared to their peers?
Once we discovered this gap, we knew we needed to help fix it. We assembled a research team to fully understand the problem. We met with the self-employed where they worked: coffee shops, in their homes and co-working spaces like Gridworks in Durham and Workbar in Boston. We also surveyed a thousand independent workers across the country.
Our research team consisted of many current or former freelancers and independent workers, but we knew we had to go beyond ourselves. So, we started IndyLife to get a broader perspective—all content were written by freelancers for freelancers.
Contributors gave us invaluable insight: many of the challenges freelancers face stem from financial instability for the long-term. Variable income makes it difficult to determine how much to save for taxes. Other challenges include: getting paid on time, saving for retirement, health insurance, and doing less “busy” work.
The resources from IndyLife helped us shape and refine bSolo’s mission: to help freelancers live the life they set out for by minimizing the “busy work”. We help freelancers avoid missed quarterly tax payments by setting aside a percentage of each deposit and automatically sending in payments to the IRS and state tax authorities.
Our product is a smart, quarterly tax assistant, so we still recommend having a tax advisor help you understand your holistic, personal situation and to help with filing your annual return. But for the other tax tasks—saving and paying those quarterlies, we can help. Our self-service dashboard puts our customers in the front seat and allows you to
change your settings at any time.
We have enjoyed working with the contributors and want to thank them for the inside scoop on a growing group. We’ll be repurposing the knowledge into a new form for freelancers—the bSoloist blog and a series of Field Guides in eBook format, all free. Topics include How to Get Paid as a Freelancer, How to Price Yourself, and more.
We’re striving to be a hub of information and resources dedicated to freelancers. From our blog to our social media to our product, we’re committed to making the freelancer’s unique life and journey a little easier.