Yesterday was National Financial Awareness Day and I thought it was pertinent to discuss this topic in the optical industry. Financial Awareness Day is a great opportunity to gain some awareness of your finances, whether you are a rep, an optician, an associate optometrist or a practice owning optometrist. While an exact retirement amount does vary among individuals, the common amount that financial professionals suggest is $1 million to $1.5 million, or that your savings should amount to 10 to 12 times your current income. You can't rely on social security to live on fully, especially if you're younger, because we don't know how much longer it will be around. So my question is- what is your retirement plan? Do you have one?
My next question is. why work for your money when you can make it work for you? Smart investment choices can help you spend less time working and more time enjoying your life. That’s why it’s imperative to make sound financial decisions now, so you’re not suffering later on. You never know what kind of curve-balls life may sling your way, so having a safety net with a nice contingency fund in your pocket will assist in those crazy times.
Practice Owning Optometrists:
Sometimes optometrists don't set up any kind of retirement plan besides their business and assume they will be able to sell their business and retire comfortably. I'm pretty sure unless you have a multi-location extremely thriving practice, you won't be selling your practice anytime soon for $1 million plus. Often times, optometrists think they will have a large return on their practice investment when their practices are actually not valued as much as they thought due to multiple reasons. Don't make this mistake! Set up investments and savings separate from your practice. If you need a referral for a reputable financial adviser to assist you with making a plan- see the last paragraph of this post.
Also- do you offer financial benefits for your employees? Offering basic financial benefits is an added perk for many optical employees and a draw to attract quality employees. Even if you don't contribute to your employees's retirement accounts, having the option to enroll in these through work is always a plus.