Money Monday

How your student loans could double, triple or worse

I talked to a student recently who graduated dental school a few years ago with $300,000 of student debt (a figure some of you would be happy to have!). For a variety of reasons, she hadn’t worked in the last three years and spent some time overseas before that. Her outstanding debt is now closer to $450,000. In just a few years her outstanding debt increased 50 percent. What happened?

Questions all new associates should ask

Many new dentists interview for associate positions.  One of our most often asked question from newly graduated dentists is: “What should I ask a prospective employer when I interview for an associate position?” The information you gather can have a major impact on your job satisfaction and your paycheck. Below is a list of the most relevant questions that you should ask when you start the interview process.

The unintended consequences of private refinancing

There’s a pretty good chance that if you have student loans (and even if you don’t), you have received a flyer or some type of marketing piece describing how much interest you would save if you “refinanced” your student loans. There has been tremendous growth in the private student loan market and with that growth has come lots of marketing that has left recent grads confused and unsure about their debt. This post will discuss various aspects of refinancing your loans with a private lender and some of the potential negative consequences.

Financial planning for the long run

How long do you plan on practicing dentistry? Although we haven’t officially started our careers as licensed dentists yet, it is never too early to plan ahead for retirement. Saving your hard-earned money as a dentist after graduation doesn’t seem as glamorous as treating yourself, but saving and investing will allow you to have more control and freedom later in life. The futures of Social Security, tax rates, inflation, and the economy are uncertain, but the one thing you can control is your savings.

Interest capitalization and taxable forgiveness: two things you must understand if you have student loans

A lack of understanding regarding these two facets of student loans can have a significant impact on your wealth. Let’s start with interest capitalization. When you borrow money, you have to pay for the use of that money. It’s called interest. Interest is usually charged as a percentage of your outstanding principal.

Second is taxable forgiveness. When you get to year 20 (under the PAYE plan), any outstanding debt gets forgiven. Throw a party because that’s really great. But… there’s a catch. All of that debt forgiveness is considered taxable income.

When NOT to put money into a retirement account

crunching numbersYou’ve probably heard that you need to start early when it comes to saving for retirement. I often get asked by dental residents (some of which have $450k of outstanding debt) if they should save for retirement while in residency. For your average resident and recent grad, there are some very good reasons NOT to put money into a retirement account. Here are a few…