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InsightsLate Career

How Much Will My Retirement Cost?

In previous blogs, we’ve looked at the unique financial opportunities and challenges of early-career and mid-career veterinarians. In this post, we’ll explore the late-career stage.

How Much Will My Retirement Cost?

As shown in the doodle above, a late-career veterinarian’s human capital i.e., income earning capacity, is mostly in the past and total wealth consisting of financial capital in the form of retirement accounts, real estate, and practice ownership, is at its peak.

Compared to the early and mid-career stages, by late-stage, veterinarians have navigated many of life’s major transitions: marriage, children, divorce, career changes, etc.

Late-career vets have settled into a certain lifestyle and household expense are now more predictable. Does that mean it’s clear sailing ahead? Not exactly.

For late-career vets, retirement is the biggest life transition they will face…and the single largest expense. One mistake I see late-career veterinarians make is to blindly guess at how they will fund their retirement.

Converting financial assets into a life-long income requires planning, starting with a retirement projection.

A retirement projection is a roadmap for turning financial capital into a comfortable retirement lifestyle. It is part art and part science. Why? Because it must contend with a number of variables, which are out of our control, for example, inflation, investment returns, interest rates, longevity, and physical health. You can imagine how these factors complicate answering the question,

“How much do I need to retire?”

Completing a retirement projection is the best-known method to address this question. Drawing on best-practices, it helps plan for the uncertainties described above. It also recasts the retirement funding conversation to one about improving the probabilities for future financial security by asking

“What actions should I take now?”

It’s been said, no plan survives contact with reality, but there is still value in the planning process. A retirement projection transforms chaos and uncertainty into clarity and confidence by helping veterinarians visualize the future. Take a moment to imagine what it would feel like to experience that.

In previous posts, we’ve looked at the unique financial opportunities and challenges of early-career and mid-career veterinarians. Now, let’s explore the late-career stage.