Financial Planning Through the Stages of a Veterinary Career – Part 4 – Years Ten Through Twenty

Financial planning is an essential aspect of building wealth and achieving long-term financial security. For veterinarians who have been in practice for a decade or more, it is an opportune time to revisit their financial plan and make adjustments as necessary.

As veterinarians reach the 10 to 20-year mark in their careers, they may have paid off their student loans or be close to doing so. This presents an opportunity to reallocate funds towards additional savings and increased lifestyle spending. At this stage, personal, family, and career goals are becoming clearer, and the veterinarian's lifestyle is settling into what will be their standard way of living.

With assets and income generally growing, it is also an ideal time to increase contributions to retirement plans as a percentage and dollar amount.  For veterinarians who are self-employed as solo or relief practitioners, exploring alternatives to traditional retirement plans is crucial.

Non-retirement savings and investments also become a larger focus for pre-retirement spending goals. If the veterinarian has children, they may want to allocate more discretionary income to education savings for their children.

If the veterinarian has decided that practice ownership is for them, they are usually taking the initial steps to buy into a practice, buy out a practice, or start their own practice from the ground up.  As revenue and assets from the business begin to flow through to their personal financial statements, some of their discretionary income may shift to business growth rather than personal investments.

The focus of financial planning at this stage shifts from a goals-based approach to a long-term holistic approach that considers all aspects of their financial well-being.

Furthermore, due to increases in income, assets, and possible business ownership, tax planning becomes increasingly advantageous at this stage in their financial plan. Seeking the advice of a financial planner who specializes in working with veterinarians can help ensure that the veterinarian's financial plan is tailored to their unique needs and goals.

In conclusion, financial planning is a continuous process that requires regular review and adjustments. Veterinarians who have been in practice for 10 to 20 years should take this opportunity to revisit their financial plan, increase retirement contributions, explore alternatives to traditional retirement plans, focus on non-retirement savings and investments, allocate more discretionary income to education savings for their children, and seek advice from a financial planner who specializes in working with veterinarians. By taking these steps, veterinarians can pursue their long-term financial goals and build a solid financial foundation for themselves and their families.