We have all heard how valuable it is to start planning for retirement early on. As a veterinarian, you have unique retirement planning concerns and because of your skills, the time frame for retirement is flexible and may include a gradual transition.

When it comes to starting a retirement plan, there are many misconceptions that can lead to procrastination and missed opportunity. However, less expensive and time-consuming approaches do exist and there are plans for every stage of your practice. So, you can get started sooner than later.

Retirement plans should be established for endurance and ease of use. "Bundled" service providers can save you valuable time, effort, and expense by offering a single source of retirement plan design and ongoing service. Pre-approved plans can be custom fit to suit your situation, needs, and retirement goals so you won't get a one-size-fits-all plan better suited for a larger business.

When it comes to having the right retirement plan designed specifically for your practice, there are some beneficial options.

If you're a one-person business, consider an Owners 401(k)
An Owners 401(k) combines the benefits of profit sharing and 401(k) plans without costly set-up charges. One-person practices may be able to defer more than they might be able to than with SEP-IRA, SIMPLE 401(k), profit-sharing plan, Keogh, or other defined contribution plans. Rather than a fixed contribution limit, Owners 401(k) contribution limits are based on a percentage of income. Plus, by allowing for a profit-sharing contribution as well as a 401(k) salary deferral, contributions can be up to three times as much as what's allowed under some other types of retirement plans.

If you have an established practice with younger employees, consider a New Comparability Plan
You may be able to take advantage of age-weighted allocations and new comparability formulas that benefit participants approaching retirement. These plans, known as New Comparability or Cross-Tested plans, enable you to divide plan participants into two or more designated groups, and in many cases, the plan can make larger contributions for one group--those closest to retirement--than for another.

If you have a SIMPLE IRA or SEP-IRA, consider upgrading to a Safe Harbor 401(k)
Safe Harbor 401(k) offers significant contribution flexibility with a salary deferral of as much as $17,500 for 2014, plus a $5,500 "catch up" contribution if you are 50 or older (all amounts subject to IRS cost of living adjustments), plus the ability to contribute to a profit-sharing plan. Owners can defer the maximum contribution for themselves, regardless of employee participation, making Safe Harbor 401(k) an attractive plan for highly compensated owners with employees and you avoid the annual testing that's required in a Traditional 401(k).

If you have multiple retirement plans, consider consolidating plans
If you manage multiple retirement plans, such as an IRA, Rollover IRA, 401(k), Profit-Sharing, and/or 403(b) accounts, you may want to consider consolidating retirement plans and assets. By consolidating into a single 401(k) plan, you may be able to simplify investment management, save time, reduce fees, stay diversified, and be a more effective, informed investor. Plus, if you consolidate IRA assets into a 401(k) plan, you may have access to loan features and other benefits not available with an IRA.

Re-evaluate your retirement planning today
Every year represents an opportunity to re-evaluate your retirement planning and goals. Having the right plan and service platform for your current situation can make a significant difference.

AXA Equitable has been helping members of associations plan for an independent retirement for 45 years and has been an AAHA preferred provider since 1995. The Program is committed to keeping costs low while delivering comprehensive service to help minimize the time to establish and manage a plan for every veterinary practice scenario and it's important to know it can be changed to meet your retirement plan needs now and in the future.

To learn more about the AAHA Retirement Program, call us at 800-523-1125, ext. 6190, or visit AXA Equitable online. We also invite you to request a customized plan proposal. All information and consultations are free of charge and are made available to AAHA members at no obligation.  

Going to AAHA Nashville, March 20 - 23?
Come visit us at the AAHA Retirement Program exhibit booth #834.
Attend our educational seminar, "The Retirement Lifecycle: Your Journey to Retirement Readiness"
Thursday, March 20, from 8:00 - 9:40 a.m. in room 104C.

The 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. AXA Equitable does not provide tax or legal advice and is not affiliated with AAHA.
GE 87968 (9/13)


Add comment

  Country flag

  • Comment
  • Preview

About this Blog

Red is your guide to everything AAHA. Whether you’re looking for association news, updates on our educational offerings, the latest books from AAHA Press, deals from our Preferred Providers, or fun reads from various AAHA staff and AAHA-member veterinary professionals, this is where you’ll find it.

Questions or comments?
Email us at [email protected] or call AAHA’s Member Experience Team at 800-883-6301.

AAHA-Accredited Veterinary Hospital Locator

Read the latest edition of:

Poll Question
Veterinary professionals: Are you allowed to bring your pet(s) to work with you?

The Standard of Veterinary Excellence ®
American Animal Hospital Association | Copyright ©2019 | Privacy Statement | Contact Us
The Standard of Veterinary Excellence ®
American Animal Hospital Association | Copyright © 2014
Privacy Statement | Contact Us