Life Insurance Awareness Month

Small Sacrifices for a Dignified Retirement

Many optometrists have a slightly different view of what retirement could be. The vision may include spending more time with family, or traveling to new places and enjoying new adventures. Perhaps the mind's eye sees volunteering with a local or international organization. For some optometrists, it may even include continuing to work.

Do you know the best thing about retirement?
It can be planned in advance. You have the ability to customize your own retirement lifestyle today.  

Some optometrists have the luxury of retiring early because they have prepared well or have experienced a financial windfall, while others decide to put in additional years of work to achieve a more comfortable retirement lifestyle.  

According to Center for Disease Control's National Center for Health Statistics, (10/2014), Americans are living longer and are now more aware of preventing chronic diseases. This means that we are spending a higher proportion of our lives in retirement. Although a longer and healthier life is a positive achievement, the downside is that it leaves more room for us to exhaust our assets and run out of money sooner than anticipated.  

The fact is that 50% of retirees report that they spend more during retirement in the first two years of retirement1 and the reality is that we, as a country, are faced with fluctuations in the economy and doubts about the long-term viability of Social Security funds to support a growing number of retirees. Optometrists, two-thirds of whom are running their own practices2, are realizing the need to save for retirement in order to maintain the lifestyles to which they are accustomed.  

Starting to save for retirement as early as possible is one of the smartest things an optometrist can do. The earlier you start saving, the more money you can accumulate. But it's never too late.  

Hypothetically, you have an optometrist with a $150,000 annual salary, contributing 10% of the salary each year to a tax-deferred retirement savings account. If the saving process begins at age 40 with a retirement age of 65, the account could potentially be worth more than $900K, assuming a 7% annual rate of return. However, an optometrist who starts saving at 41 years old could have a significantly lower balance at retirement due to the power of compounding.

The graph illustrates the impact of waiting just one year to start saving, plus an additional investment of $15,000, which could mean a difference of about $76,085.

You don't have to change everything you do in order to save money. Small tweaks here and there can go a long way and help you reach your savings goal. Start putting money away into a retirement savings account as soon as a paycheck is received, or enroll in payroll deduction if it is available in your plan, and don't forget to increase yearly contributions with each salary increase.  

With these small sacrifices, you can start making your way towards a more comfortable financial position for retirement.

Sources:
1https://www.ebri.org/pdf/PR1148.HH-Exp.19Nov15.pdf
2https://www.aoa.org/Documents/ric/2014%20Practicing%20ODs%20-%20Executive%20Summary%20080415.pdf

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The AOA Members Retirement Program (contract form #6059) is funded by a group variable annuity contract issued and distributed by AXA Equitable Life Insurance Company, NY, NY. Annuities contain restrictions and limitations. AXA Equitable Life Insurance Company and its affiliates do not provide tax or legal advice. GE 120024 (10/16) (Exp. 10/18)