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.
Wondering what you can do with your money even while you don’t have any? Here are some ideas of what you can do while in dental school to set yourself up for financial success.
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.
Earlier this year, we joined Kobe Bryant in bidding farewell to a successful twenty-year professional basketball career with the Los Angeles Lakers. His retirement letter (written as a poem and published by the Players’ Tribune), aptly titled “Dear Basketball,” brought us back to his humble beginnings, shed light on his difficult choice to retire and highlighted his incredible legacy.
Kobe’s journey to retirement holds important lessons for all of us. As future dental professionals, there will come a time when we also have to make the difficult choice to retire. Using Kobe’s journey as an example, here are some key factors that will help direct us to a successful and happy departure from our day jobs.
When you get your first job, there is a good chance that you are going to have to make some decisions about participating in a retirement plan right away. In some cases that decision will be made for you. If you go to work for a corporate dental office, there is a pretty good chance you will end up with the option of a 401k. 401k Retirement plans are less common in smaller and private practices, but it would still be beneficial to have a basic understanding as one will likely be recommended to you at some point in your career. One other thing to keep in mind is that you could also end up working as an independent contractor, in which case you would not be able to participate in the employer’s retirement plan although you could set up your own. There are other types of retirement plans but for the sake of brevity, we will focus on the 401k. Here are some things you need to know.
We talk a lot with students and new dentists about starting to save for retirement early. Without the proper discipline to save routinely as you start to work, dentists are left with much less at retirement than they had hoped for. Sometimes, it is hard to even know where to start. Read on to learn more!