Financial Planning Through the Stages of a Veterinary Career – Part 5 – Years Twenty Through Thirty

May 04, 2023

Financial planning is an essential part of a veterinarian's career, especially when they reach the prime years of their career, which usually falls between years twenty and thirty of practice. At this stage, the primary planning focus should be on wealth accumulation, taking into account their growing assets and income. It is also essential to consider other factors like college education for their children and their eventual retirement and possibly exit from practice ownership.

If they are a practice owner, veterinarians during this stage of their career should be building assets outside of their practice. Although the practice may be a growing asset, relying solely on it may not be enough for long-term financial success. Therefore, it is advisable to explore other investment opportunities and diversify their asset holdings to ensure a secure financial future.

For practice owners, it is also recommended to explore fully leveraging contribution, matching, and profit-sharing options in employer plans such as 401(k)s. This can help to build long-term wealth and provide a solid foundation for retirement.

The veterinarian may also want to start exploring other pre-retirement planning considerations, such as getting a picture of what retirement looks like for them. Taking "Test" or mini-retirements can help to test out different living and lifestyle scenarios and determine what they envision their retirement to look like. Strategizing final debt elimination prior to retirement can also lower the strain on income and assets in retirement, making it easier to achieve their retirement goals.

Another critical consideration at this stage is exploring long-term care planning options. Long-term care events can be a major speed bump that derails retirement plans, and it is essential to have a plan in place to mitigate this risk. Options like long-term care insurance, hybrid long-term care and life insurance coverages, or dedicating a portion of assets can help to cover the costs associated with a long-term care event.

Financial planning for veterinarians in the twentieth to thirtieth years of their career is critical for long-term financial success. Building assets outside of their practice, maximizing contributions, exploring pre-retirement planning considerations, and exploring long-term care planning options can all help to ensure a secure financial future. With careful planning and strategic decision-making, veterinarians can achieve their financial goals and retire with confidence.