After some years as an independent contractor, I accepted employee status. The reasons: The disability insurance, malpractice insurance, life insurance, and more important, health insurance provided by my employer, plus now the employer pays half my social security, far outweighed, in my opinion, the reduced amount I can put away for retirement. In studying the options, I find the ability to use tax efficient mutual funds such S&P 500 funds, particularly Vanguard, is a satisfactory substitute for putting that money into a retirement fund. Since the index fund will do little buying and selling, the taxes are in fact deferred. Further, I can buy a stock and hold for a long time. The problem with holding a stock for a long time is that I find the stock may do very well indeed for the first year after I buy it, but then it runs out of steam, the picture changes, and I find it appropriate to sell that stock and buy a different one: enter, TAXES! So I do better to buy individual stocks within my IRA and index funds outside it. Best wishes, Chris
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