Planning for retirement is one of those things we all know we should do, but it doesn’t seem like that day will be here any time soon.
Until, suddenly, it is.
If you haven’t started a retirement plan yet, it’s not too late. No matter where you’re at in your career, there’s no better time than the present to begin!
As you are considering how best to prepare for your golden years, keep these tips in mind that works for all doctors planning a retirement fund.
1. Invest in Compound Interest Avenues
Having a savings account is great, but you are doing all the work. If the funds are just going to sit there anyway, why not let them work for you?
The typical physician’s salary, whether you’re an in-demand pathologist or a successful general practitioner, usually leaves room for savings. Keep your on-hand emergency fund, but then put the rest in investments that compound interest.
Money market accounts, CDs, and some bank accounts are good ways to start a simple portfolio with compound interest investments.
2. Use a Retirement Calculator to Plan
Coming up with an arbitrary amount as a retirement target isn’t the best way to plan. A lot can change between now and then, including inflation and tax increases.
A retirement calculator, like the one suggested by financial planning guru Dave Ramsey, gives you a clearer picture of what to expect. When you know what you’d like to have in spending money, plus typical expenses, you can pinpoint what you need to put back in savings each year.
3. Minimize Your Expenses
You’ve probably noticed since becoming a doctor that it’s very easy to get businesses to give you credit. But just because you can buy something with a loan doesn’t mean you necessarily should.
Before you start packing away your extra funds into a retirement account, pay off your debt as much as possible. The interest you pay on credit cards and your mortgage is costing you a lot more than what you’ll get on your investment returns.
Once you’ve paid off your debt, start putting the extra money into your retirement account. You’ll have a decent nest egg and less bills when you aren’t working anymore.
4. Invest in Your Health
No one ever wants to consider the idea of becoming unable to take care of themselves in the future, but it happens. Part of saving for retirement means planning for these circumstances.
With long-term care and disability policy, you won’t have to break into your retirement fund as much as you would have without one.
Hopefully, you’ll never use it. But isn’t that the point of insurance?
5. Make a Smart Relocation Plan
As you save for retirement, think about where you want to live out your non-working years. This will make a difference in how you save because a smart relocation can net you thousands of dollars extra each year.
For instance, Florida has low taxes, and no annual state tax returns to file. The attractive weather keeps seniors active all year ‘round and improves their health.
If you prefer cooler weather, Idaho’s cost of living is one of the lowest in the country. There is no state income tax on your Social Security benefits, and health care is top-notch.
Waiting until you’re about to retire to have a plan for where you want to live is too late. Start researching your preferred state ahead of time, learn about the cost of living, and know what you’re getting into. That way, you can adjust your savings plan accordingly.
Building a healthy nest egg to retire with is everyone’s goal at some point in their life. As a doctor, you have a better opportunity to put extra funds into savings than most people do. But you have to think strategically in order to make your money work for you.
These tips will guide you into creating a plan for your future. Then you can focus on patient care and dreaming about all the fun things you’ll do in your Golden Years!