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Retirement Plans for Medical Offices


Planning for your future is paramount, regardless of what career path you've chosen. For doctors, it seems like retirement should be an easy path, but many medical professionals are not aware of the plans available to them. Before you make a decision that can impact your and your employees' lives forever, it is important to understand the details. Here are some things you should know about choosing the right retirement plan for you individually or for your practice as a whole.

  • W-2 and 1099 employees--what do you have? Options for retirement are partially dependent on the classification of work. When you receive a W-2 from an employer, you are considered a permanent employee. An employer may provide benefits, and your options are more diverse than your contractor counterparts'. An independent contractor, or someone who files taxes with 1099 forms, is considered self-employed, and so will not have the luxury of a retirement package through an employer. But there are plenty of self-funded retirement plans available. It helps to talk with an accountant or financial planner, both for your sake and your employees'.
  • One of the most common retirement funds is a 401(k). Many employers will offer this type of account and some may even match contributions. For independent contractors, there are Solo 401(k) accounts that can be a great way to save for the future in a more traditional and comfortable way.
  • SEP and SIMPLE IRAs. Another option for doctors managing a staff is to offer a SEP or a SIMPLE IRA. IRAs are individual retirement accounts that are easy to set up and maintain. Offering a SEP, or Simplified Employee Plan, will allow you to make contributions to the staff's retirement funds. This is particularly good when you're in an office with high turnover or if only a few of the employees qualify. A SIMPLE IRA, or Savings Incentive Match Plan for Employees IRA, allows a minimum contribution time of two years, compared with SEP's one. The eligibility is more restrictive overall.
  • Profit sharing. It may seem like profit sharing isn't appropriate in the realm of a medical office, but it can be a great way to encourage individual savings, growth and participation. This can be tied to individual production or, if you want everyone to be eligible for the program, it can be divided equally among your employees. It can also be calculated based on the employee's individual pay. This is an affordable way to provide additional money that can be saved or used immediately, and it promotes a shared sense of ownership and increased productivity.

What retirement plans can you create for your practice to ensure your financial future? Careful planning now can help you create a retirement program good for you and your medical staff.


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Nelda Fields | Debra Turner
Nelda Fields | Debra Turner
Healthcare Services Group | Partners
(843) 577-5843
40 Calhoun Street, Suite 320
Charleston, SC 29401
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