My employer doesn't offer a 401k and it doesn't look like they will anytime soon. I already have a maxed out Roth IRA, so I would really like to do something with pre-tax dollars before I push my money into something else. Can I setup my own 401k and invest into that?
You are already doing everything you can.
If your employer does not have a 401(k) you are limited to investing in a Roth or a traditional IRA (Roth is post tax money, traditional IRA gives you a deduction so it is essentially pre tax money). The contribution limits are the same for both and contributing to either adds to the limit (so you can't duplicate).
- Roth or regular IRA
- Insurance products (blech)
- Low cost investments (index funds, etfs, tax free muni bonds)
- Plead with your employer
One thing you may want to bring up with your employer is that they could set up a SEP-IRA. This allows them to set a % (up to 25%) that they contribute pre-tax to an IRA for everyone at the company that has worked there at least 3 years. If you are at a small company, maybe everyone with that kind of seniority would take an equivalent pay cut to get the automatic retirement contribution? (Note that a SEP-IRA has to apply to everyone equally percentage wise that has worked there for 3 years, and the employer makes the contribution, not you).
If you have kids, there are also 529 funds to consider. They aren't pre-tax, but do have tax advantages. If your employer doesn't have a 401k, chances are they don't offer Health Savings Accounts, but that is another thing to look at.
It's not pre-tax but you can consider some short term municipal bonds. The interest is tax free. I would keep to short term ones (1 year maturity), so that you aren't affected by big swings in interest rates and can get your money back within a year.