The complete video transcript is below in italics.
I’m Marilee Falco, Financial Strategist and Principal with Agili. At Agili, we have been helping doctors plan for their retirement for over 25 years. Today, I would like to share some of our favorite investment management strategies and retirement savings [strategies] for doctors.
Doctors Should Maximize 401(k) Contributions
First, we recommend to all of our physician clients that they maximize their 401(k) or 403(b) plan at their place of employment. In addition, some institutions will offer a 457 plan for highly-compensated employees and we recommend that they maximize that as well.
Doctors Should Take Advantage of Health Savings Accounts (HSAs)
Second, we really like health savings accounts (HSAs). If your employer offers a high deductible medical insurance plan, you’re eligible for a health savings account. Many employers will match their employees’ savings into the health savings account, so we recommend you maximize your contribution and then we also recommend that you don’t use the money now. An HSA is the only triple tax-free investment currently available. Your contributions are tax-deferred, you can invest the funds and they grow tax-deferred, and you can take the money out tax-free as long as you use the money for healthcare expenses. In addition, there’s no time limit on using these funds, so we recommend, if you can afford it, pay your healthcare expenses out of cash-flow and just continue to let your health savings account grow – and use that in retirement to pay for your healthcare expenses.
Doctors Should Open A Taxable Brokerage Account
Third, we recommend opening a taxable brokerage account. This is a way to save money that is after-tax money, that you can tap into prior to age 59 ½.
Doctors Should Consider a Cash Balance Plan
Fourth, cash balance plans. If you don’t work for a hospital or other company and you have your own practice, you may want to consider a cash balance plan. Cash balance plans are a way to save for retirement tax-deferred, but they enable you to put away much more money than a traditional 401(k).
Doctors Should Establish a 529 College Savings Plan
Fifth, 529 college savings plans. If you have children, a 529 plan is the best way to save for your child’s college education. Few doctors will qualify for financial aid, so it’s very important to start saving today. The benefit of a 529 plan is that the account will grow tax-deferred, and as long as the money is used for education expenses, the money comes out of the account tax-free. In addition, in some states, like Pennsylvania, contributions that you make to your 529 plan will be deductible on your Pennsylvania state tax return.