Dos and don'ts for doctor finances

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How to prepare for retirement from day one

Coming out of dental school, young dentists are usually faced with significant educational debt. Funding retirement isn't easy -- but it's important to get started.

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Save as early as possible. Work with a financial advisor to balance your debt payments and savings for retirement. Even a small amount put into retirement savings at an early age will become a foundation for later years. It will also establish a pattern of savings or a savings habit that will serve you well and move you toward your financial goals.

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Don't procrastinate. As young dentists become middle-aged dentists, they find out that debt takes longer to pay off than planned. By age 35 or 37, even if the debt is gone, the dentist still has little to fund retirement. While it is certainly important to get out of debt as soon as possible, it is also necessary to save whatever money you can to put toward retirement. Down the road, savings will pay off handsomely because you will have the ability to retire when you want to.

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