fbpx

Author Archives: LarsonFinancial

The Importance of a Sound Asset Protection Strategy

Let’s say you’ve got your retirement strategy down. You have an idea of how much you’re saving, the ideal age you’re retiring, everything is planned out. Suddenly, you are involved in a fender-bender and suddenly you’re looking at a lawsuit. Are your assets protected, or is there a gap in your insurance coverage?

Accidents can start as small as swerving to avoid a squirrel crossing the road and quickly build to a lot of damage if other cars or pedestrians are involved. In these cases, insurance companies and attorneys could target you, as doctors typically have a variety of assets, whether it’s a savings account, equity in your home or future earning ability.

Regardless of whether you’re covered or not, don’t fall victim to a common mistake: letting your coverage lapse or not updating your plan. As you go through changes in income growth as you progress in your career, make sure you make it a priority to re-evaluate your coverage as you go.

Another good idea is to talk to an agent to discuss total coverage, rather than shopping for coverage at a policy level. Consolidating your coverage with one company can help keep your support consistent and could even save you money.

If you’re worried about your coverage, or need a place to start, consider having a chat with your insurance agent. Talking through your lifestyle and assets can help your agent find the right coverage for you to keep you protected from a broader range of threats. You can also talk to your agent to easily change or update your policies, should your needs change.

Are there gaps in your insurance coverage?

Advisory services offered through Larson Financial Group, LLC, a Registered Investment Advisor.

Securities offered through Larson Financial Securities, LLC, member FINRA/SIPC.

Larson Financial Group, LLC, Larson Financial Securities, LLC and their representatives do not provide legal or tax advice or services. Please consult the appropriate professional regarding your legal or tax planning needs.

Professional liability services offered through MedInsure Group, LLC, a Larson Financial Group affiliated company.

When Saving for Education, Have You Considered a 529 Plan?

As we enter our careers, we’re bombarded with messages about the importance of retirement savings. And it’s true: retirement is a very important event in your life, and you need to be prepared. There’s another expense that may be worth saving for, however: your children’s education.

Assisting in your child’s education expenses is a decision you (and your spouse or partner) should discuss. It’s crucial to decide a strategy before committing to college savings. Once you do commit, you may want to consider a 529 plan.

Many doctors may overlook a 529 plan because they don’t want money tied down for one specific purpose. A 529 plan is similar to an HSA in that, the money you invest is there for education expenses only. Any withdrawals for other purposes will be taxed as income with an extra 10% penalty tacked on.

An important factor to consider in a 529 plan are the tax advantages. Many stats offer tax benefits for contributions to a 529 plan, including deducting contributions from state income tax or matching grants. In addition, the earnings in a 529 plan grow tax-free.

The most important factor to consider in saving for children’s education is not to prioritize those savings over your own goals. Saving for your own retirement or other long-term goals should take precedence; education savings can be considered extra. It would make sense that a doctor who is well-situated financially would be in a better position to assist his or her child with education expenses.

Are you ready to review choices you have for education savings?

Advisory services offered through Larson Financial Group, LLC, a Registered Investment Advisor.

Securities offered through Larson Financial Securities, LLC, member FINRA/SIPC.

Larson Financial Group, LLC, Larson Financial Securities, LLC and their representatives do not provide legal or tax advice or services. Please consult the appropriate professional regarding your legal or tax planning needs.

Are You Properly Managing Your Debt?

Doctors can end up in unique situations regarding their professional lives. They often enter their high-earning years later in their career than other professions and can have much higher student loan debts. Plus, the cost of opening a practice, along with other expenses like homes or vehicles, can really add up to an intimidating amount of debt. The key to debt management is being proactive.

Planning for the debt that you know is incoming, like student loans, can help you get a start on your savings. Something to consider, though, is exactly how concerned are you with debt?

If debt is causing you a lot of stress or keeping you up at night, you may want to pay it down as quickly as possible. If you’re a little more comfortable with the debt you have, you can work with a financial professional to determine the strategy that works best for you.

A common answer to managing debt is to keep a budget. Budgets can be a great way to track your spending and make sure you have enough set aside to pay your bills and cover other necessary expenses each month. However, budgets may not work for everyone and if you have a busy schedule, setting aside time to balance and monitor your budget may be more difficult than creating the budget itself.

For a doctor in that position, a “pay yourself first” approach may be a better alternative. With this method, you set aside an amount of your income—either a percent or flat dollar amount—to save or invest each month. That leaves you free to spend the remainder guilt-free, as you’ve already put money aside to cover yourself.

Another unique angle doctors have is taking advantage of Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF), which is a strategy whereby your student loan debt could be forgiven a period of working for a government or not-for-profit organization.

There are some caveats to this system. There have been efforts to defund or eliminate it completely, though they’ve been unsuccessful so far. If you’re a doctor pursuing PSLF, it could benefit you to begin or continue saving like the program may not exist in the future. Saving as though you’ll have to pay will help you avoid being blindsided, should something happen to the program.

Whether you’re a debt-managing wizard, you need some help or you’re unsure of the resources available to you, we can talk through your financial plan and make sure you’re on track.

Do you want a second opinion on your debt management strategy?

Advisory services offered through Larson Financial Group, LLC, a Registered Investment Advisor.

Securities offered through Larson Financial Securities, LLC, member FINRA/SIPC.

Larson Financial Group, LLC, Larson Financial Securities, LLC and their representatives do not provide legal or tax advice or services. Please consult the appropriate professional regarding your legal or tax planning needs.

Retirement Fundamentals: How Do I Stay on Track?

We’re all aware of the importance of saving for retirement. If you don’t want to work for the rest of your life, you save money so that you can comfortably live in retirement and don’t need to work in old age. The problem is that, for doctors, retirement planning takes a different shape and comes along with some unique pitfalls to avoid.

For one thing, doctors typically tend to have less time to plan and save for retirement. You’re usually starting your high-earning years later than most other career paths, limiting the amount of time you have to actually save. If a “standard” timeframe for retirement savings is between 35-40 years, a doctor may only have 25 or 30 years. Those five or ten years can make a huge difference in amount of money you can put away.

Doctors may also have substantial student loans to pay back, putting retirement savings on the backburner.

And, believe it or not, social pressures can negatively affect doctors. Our advisors have encountered situations where clients had plans in place to save during their early working years, only to give in to social pressures and begin making purchasing decisions that put their savings at risk.

You could be viewed as very wealthy and “set for life” by society, which can lead to the feeling that you need that new high-dollar car or house. Don’t give in to the pressure of keeping up with the Joneses! Living outside your means is a surefire way to end up in trouble when it comes time for retirement.

So what can physicians and dentists do? How can you avoid the pitfalls and keep your retirement goals on track?

Keeping a budget is a great start. There are many different apps and solutions available to help you create a budget, or you can go the “old-fashioned” way and create an Excel spreadsheet to track your spending. Whether you’re starting your career, or you’ve established your practice, sticking to a budget is a good fundamental to master.

We also recommend having a plan for money before it comes in. If you’re about to graduate and enter your career, or you’re about to get a promotion or a bonus, have an idea of how to distribute that money before it comes in. It can be much easier to save if you plan to do it before the money is in your hand.

Typically, we recommend paying down higher-interest debt and then contributing to basic savings. Once your most pressing expenses are taken care of and you put some toward savings, you can spend guilt-free because you know your obligations are taken care of.

Lastly, we always recommend coming in to chat with us. We can help you with your plan, budget and goals to keep you on track.

Ready to chat about your goals?

Advisory services offered through Larson Financial Group, LLC, a Registered Investment Advisor.

Securities offered through Larson Financial Securities, LLC, member FINRA/SIPC.

Larson Financial Group, LLC, Larson Financial Securities, LLC and their representatives do not provide legal or tax advice or services. Please consult the appropriate professional regarding your legal or tax planning needs.

The information provided is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as a recommendation or advice. Further, this is not an offer to buy or sell securities or other products and services of Larson Financial Group or its affiliates. Please consult an appropriate investment professional regarding your specific needs.

The preceding message is an advertisement of Larson Financial Group LLC.

At A Glance: Tax Cuts & Jobs Act

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, passed in December 2017, brought the biggest tax overhaul in 30 years and has probably left many people with questions. It’s important to understand how the elimination of deductions, compression of tax rates, and brand-new benefits for certain taxpayers could affect your strategy.

If you’re interested in a deep dive, we have an article with our key thoughts for you to check out and read more. If you’d like a broader overview, we’ve included a handy chart to help you identify exactly where and how you may be affected next tax season.

Click image to View PDF

Are you affected by the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act?
Do you need to re-evaluate your tax strategy?
Schedule a consultation today!

Advisory services offered through Larson Financial Group, LLC, a Registered Investment Advisor. Securities offered through Larson Financial Securities, LLC, member FINRA/SIPC.

Larson Financial Group, LLC, Larson Financial Securities, LLC and their representatives do not provide legal or tax advice or services. Please consult the appropriate professional regarding your legal or tax planning needs.