As a massage therapist, there is only so much you can do in terms of your career. Don't get me wrong. You can grow your practice, add tons of different services, and even expand to a spa with multiple therapists. But as an individual, you are limited by your health and strength and - let's face it - you may not want to do the physical work yourself into your golden years. This means you, like many other self-employed individuals, need to consider what you'll do to plan for retirement. And you need to think about it now.
Consider Your Long Term Needs
It's hard to know what to save for retirement if you have no idea what your current lifestyle costs. You'll need to consider your goals for retirement, your current lifestyle, and what other medical or personal needs you may have. You'll also have to consider your dreams. Have you always wanted to travel? Do you want to retire in another country? Set goals.
Talk to an Investment Broker
One of the first things you should do is talk to an investment broker. You don't have the benefit of an employer matched 401(k) plan, so you're basically on your own in terms of having something set up for your future. There are several options for you to choose from, including the SEP-IRA, the solo 401(k), and the simple IRA. Your accountant or broker will help you to decide which is best based on your ultimate goals, the size of your business, and the amount you plan to invest regularly.
Investing on Your Own
Investing and watching a stock portfolio not 100% geared towards retirement isn't for everyone, but if you're into numbers and love studying the markets, you could consider taking a course from a group like Bulls on Wall Street (there are tons of others out there, too) and learning a bit more about what's out there. I'm not recommending this course of action as a given source of income, but if you're an aggressive person, or a risk taker, you may find adding an investment portfolio aside from a retirement plan helps to pad your bank accounts for the future.
Regardless, talk to someone about your plans for retirement and make sure you're on the right track. The "work till you die" plan simply isn't an option - especially as a massage therapist.