Welcome to The Next Egg

Investing retirement $ into just & vibrant communities! Join for webinars, resources, conversation!

America's retirement investment system is broken.

There's $29T in US retirement accounts, and it's mostly locked up in Wall Street mutual funds, pension funds, and insurance funds that subsidize extractive multinational corporations and build wealth for the already ultra wealthy.

We want to change that.

Crowdfunding and other recent changes in the law make it cheaper and easier to invest in local businesses (which make up 60 - 80% of the U.S. economy!), projects, and people. Self-Directed IRAs, solo 401(k)s, and employee-directed 401(k)s are underutilized tools that facilitate this.

Join our community of practice. 

We want our retirement and workplace savings plans to sustain the thriving of all life by funding ecosystem restoration, locally-owned businesses, alternatives to policing, and so much more!

Together, we navigate legal barriers, co-create resources for public awareness and education, and use collective buying power to bargain for affordable financial products. 

Whether you work for yourself, are an employee, or run a business, we will strive together to help you access the best—and least expensive—tools for localizing tax-deferred savings. 

If we succeed, we can shift trillions of dollars away from Wall Street and into our beloved local farms, cooperatives, and other enterprises that actually sustain our communities and planet into our retirement!

Sign up and get involved!

Membership includes access to webinars, resources, and the community we're building! By contributing $9.99 per month, you're making an investment in our long-term success.

Regenerative retirement planning should not be just for the wealthy. This is a cross-class community and we all hold different relationships to money and community. We are committed to making it accessible to all. We offer a free month trial. If the price tag is a challenge for you, email valeriya[at]thenextegg.org and we'll send you an invite to stay on at a cost that is accessible for you (and of course, nobody turned away for lack of funds).

Become a member of The Next Egg to access our recorded webinars:

Digging Into Self-Directed Retirement Savings Options

On Self-Directed IRA Custodians

Anatomy of a Solo 401(k): What's inside a plan document?

Financial Planning Basics for DIY Community Investors

Community Investment Funds: A New How-To Guide for Building Local Wealth, Equity, and Justice

How We Created A Worker-Controlled 401(k)

Invest in Humans NowHow to lend your retirement savings to friends, family, yourself, and other humans in your community

The 12 Best Local Investments—and 8 Ways You Can Find Them, with Michael Shuman

On Coop Investment Clubs

On Investment Cooperatives, with Blake Jones of Kachuwa Impact Fund 

On Grassroots Fundraising

In an Eggshell: A series of 20-minute, 101-level videos to help you get the basics:

  • How to Borrow From Your Existing 401(k) or 403(b)
  • Solo 401(k)s
  • Self-Directed IRAs
  • Rollovers
  • Investor Policy Statements
  • Prohibited Transactions 101



Thursday May 20th at 4PM EST / 1PM PST: A Free Range Discussion wherein our members will engage in collective discernment about solo 401ks vs. self-directed IRAs

Introducing: the First Hatch

In 2019, we launched TheNextEgg.org, which is a resource and community for people who want to channel their retirement savings out of Wall Street and into life-sustaining enterprises in our communities. We host monthly webinars and we’ve been building up our expertise on tools for self-directing retirement savings, including various forms of IRAs and 401(k)s. In the Fall of 2019, we launched “The First Hatch” with the goal of signing up 100 people to start self-directed solo 401(k)s. We can still bring you into the fold! If you have any self-employment income, you may be eligible to create a plan that gives you full checkbook control over your retirement savings. Learn more and sign up to show your interest here. By building a collective of 100+ people to start plans simultaneously, we can learn the ropes together and gain access to low cost plans. For the First Hatch, we’ve negotiated with a provider to offer plans for a one-time fee of $300, which is quite affordable compared to other plans.

Meet a Member

Jason, 34

  • Joined the Next Egg seeking connections with like-minded people grappling with the same questions
  • Particularly proud to be currently invested in a small, local clean energy coop & a compost company
  • Passionate about early retirement, fostering connections between non-accredited investors and small businesses, and relocalizing accountability through equitable governance systems  

Questions? If you have any questions, please email valeriya[at]thenextegg.org.
Let’s hatch the next economy! We’re so excited for you to join us!


Who We Are:

Our core team includes LIFT Economy (Kevin Bayuk and Erin Axelrod), the Sustainable Economies Law Center (Janelle Orsi, Cameron Rhudy, Valeriya Olegovna Epshteyn, and Sue Bennett), and author Michael H. Shuman.


Erin Axelrod (she/her) is a Partner / Worker-Owner at LIFT Economy, helping to accelerate the spread of businesses that benefit our climate, specializing in enterprises that address soil and water regeneration. She is an avid ecologist, grassroots organizer, and wild food forager. Her clients include/have included: Winona’s Hemp & Heritage Farm, Jonas Philanthropies, Buckminster Fuller Institute, Native Conservancy, Sunken Seaweed, Salt Point Seaweeds, Singing Frogs Farm, Daily Acts Nonprofit, Fibershed Nonprofit, North Coast Brewing Company, MycoWorks. She is also co-founder of the Force for Good Fund - the first crowdfunded accelerator and development fund supporting a more diverse, inclusive economy through social enterprise. She also convenes LIFT Economy's regenerative agriculture investor network (RAIN) and a Restorative Ocean Economies Field-Building Initiative.

Kevin Bayuk (he/him) works at the intersection of ecology and economy where permaculture design meets next economy organizations intent on meeting human needs while enhancing the conditions conducive to all life. He is a co-founder and  partner with LIFT Economy, co-manager of the Force for Good Fund, the Senior Financial Fellow at Project Drawdown and a founding partner of the Urban Permaculture Institute San Francisco. Follow on Twitter @kevinbayuk or email [email protected]


Janelle Orsi (she/her) is a lawyer, advocate, writer, and cartoonist focused on cooperatives, the sharing economy, land trusts, shared housing, local currencies, and rebuilding the commons. She is Co-Founder and Executive Director of the Sustainable Economies Law Center (SELC), which facilitates the growth of more sustainable and localized economies through education, research, and advocacy. Janelle has also worked in private law practice at the Law Office of Janelle Orsi, focusing on sharing economy law since 2008.

Cameron Rhudy (she/her) was inspired by Amy Cortese’s book, Locavesting, Cameron joined the Sustainable Economies Law Center in 2015 to help reduce the barriers cooperatives and social enterprises face when raising community capital. In furtherance of this goal, Cameron strives to increase access to the law and the pathways to raising capital through research, education, advocacy, and direct legal services. Recent projects have included exploring the use of community capital in conserving farmland, learning the legal complexities of a Reg A+ offering, and supporting the The Next Egg. Additionally, Cameron leads the Law Center’s Legal Fellowship Program, supporting lawyers nationwide committed to building resilient local economies. Before becoming a staff attorney at the Law Center, Cameron had a small law practice in Sacramento, CA. Her law practice served small creative businesses, cooperatives, and social enterprises. Prior to starting her own law practice, Cameron practiced health law as a legislative attorney with the California Office of Legislative Counsel. Cameron graduated cum laude from California Western School of Law in 2009.

Sue Bennett (she/her) is Director of Operations and Miscellaneous Stuff at the Sustainable Economies Law Center, ensuring the organization's office space and internal operations contribute to the wellbeing of staff, and the effectiveness of Sustainable Economies Law Center’s programs. Sue has spent 25 years working in the nonprofit sector in a variety of program and administrative roles. Sue feels it's her professional destiny to advance The Law Center’s mission of supporting community resilience and grassroots economic empowerment. This feeling is fostered by her personal/political value alignment with The Law Center’s structure. Sue’s community activism is rooted in understanding and minimizing the impact of class and classism and is based on the principles of feminism and anti-racism.

Robin Bean Crane


Michael H. Shuman (he/him) is an economist, attorney, author, and entrepreneur, and a leading visionary on community economics. He’s Director of Local Economy Programs for Neighborhood Associates Corporation, and an Adjunct Professor at Bard Business School in New York City. He is also a Senior Researcher for Council Fire and Local Analytics, where he performed economic-development analyses for states, local governments, and businesses around North America. He is credited with being one of the architects of the 2012 JOBS Act and dozens of state laws overhauling securities regulation of crowdfunding. He has authored, coauthored, or edited ten books. His two most recent books are Put Your Money Where Your Life Is: How to Invest Locally Using Solo 401ks and Self-Directed IRAs and The Local Economy Solution: How Innovative, Self-Financing Pollinator Enterprises Can Grow Jobs and Prosperity and Local Dollars, Local Sense: How to Shift Your Money from Wall Street to Main Street. One of his previous books, The Small Mart Revolution: How Local Businesses Are Beating the Global Competition (Berrett-Koehler, 2006), received as bronze prize from the Independent Publishers Association for best business book of 2006. A prolific speaker,Shuman has given an average of more than one invited talk per week, mostly to local governments and universities, for the past 30 years in nearly every U.S. state and more than a dozen countries.

With gratitude to our donors:

In addition to becoming a member to sustain our work, you can also make a charitable gift to support our long-term success at https://www.theselc.org/sustainthenextegg

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