When I graduated from dental school in 2011, I remember thinking that my student loan debt of $180,000 seemed insurmountable. My wife also had law school loans of about $175,000. Between the two of us, that’s $355,000 of student debt we paid off in less than seven years. Believe me, I know there are circumstances that mathematically will not allow for “early” payoff of student loan debt.
We receive many questions from new dentists about whether they should save for retirement or pay off existing student loans. While each situation is unique, we do always try to accommodate early retirement saving as much as possible. If you start early, you not only get in the good habit of contributing toward savings and retirement, but you have so many years for your contributions to grow. With that said, many new dentists are unsure of their options to save for retirement. Here are some of these options.
What is a personal budget? It is a plan that allocates future income or cash (whether from working, loans, gifts, etc.) toward personal expenses, saving and loan repayment. To create a personal budget as a student, we focus on expenses, both fixed and variable.
Navigating dental school is challenging. Between the long hours in the classroom and training, there’s little time to think about your finances. However, now is the best time to start saving. Whether your goal is to pay off debt, increase your savings or start investing for the future, there’s no time like the present to get started.
Finances tend to be the largest concern for young professionals today. While it can be difficult to save and invest money in the first few years out of school, the earlier you start saving, the better off you will be in the future. It’s important to understand some of the basics when it comes to investing.
In a world where everything has gotten complex, simplicity will sometimes serve you well, even when it comes to planning for your future. Starting a financial plan for yourself while in school or just after graduation does not have to be complicated. There are some basic rules that you can keep in mind when learning to live on a budget, pay back student loans and plan for the future.
It’s no secret that the average dentist is saddled with a lot of student loan debt when they graduate school. Having a strategy to quickly and efficiently pay down your student loans is critical to long-term financial success. These personal finance tips can help you pay down student loans faster, regardless of your specialty or income.