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No Retirement Account at New Job

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  • #16
    I mean I'll be paying off a large portion of my loans first year or two anyways. So I could just put my money toward that.

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    • #17




      I mean I’ll be paying off a large portion of my loans first year or two anyways. So I could just put my money toward that.
      Click to expand...


      one year of no 401k is not that big of a deal, if it means you get into a good practice--consider it a kind of buy-in.  but you know that that statement above is flawed, right?

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      • #18
        Why is the statement flawed if I am planning to pay off my loans first year out?

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        • #19
          Paying off debt doesn’t equate to tax sheltered retirement savings. Pretax and tax advantaged accounts are real dollar benefits in the long term. One year though isn’t a big deal.

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          • #20
            Sorry, should clarify: The flaw would be choosing to not utilize a vehicle which offers tax deferred growth and better future wealth while offering substantial creditor protection. Unless your loans are like loan shark rates or somebody is going to be breaking your kneecaps.

            Again, nothing you can do now, other than clarify that you will have access in the future vs know that the lack of retirement account is a significant deficit when calculating overall value of the job.

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            • #21
              How many years to be partner then plus 1 are we talking?

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              • #22
                Count me as someone who doesn't see it as a big deal.  Certainly not ideal, but if everything else felt good then that's more important.  A few years delay in 401k isn't a big deal.  Very well most of your portfolio may end up in taxable anyway. Pay off loans, fund taxable, you'll be in good shape.

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                • #23
                  I'm certainly no expert but I thought 401k programs had to pass nondiscrimination testing. If only the partners can contribute how does it pass? If you otherwise like the job it is probably not a reason to leave but I think it is worth letting your employer know that you would really appreciate it if they would open the plan to you.

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                  • #24
                    Call me in the camp of suspicious.  I've seen too many stories on this board discussing, 'I joined group x with the expectation of partnership in Y years and now excuse z, a, and b (from senior/managing partner).....'

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                    • #25
                      Can you start up some sort of side gig that would allow you to open a solo 401k, which you could fund until your "real" work one kicks in?

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                      • #26
                        I do have a side gig, but I don't think I can contribute that much money to it. I mean you can't put more money in a solo 401k than you earn, right?!

                        My thought process was that I will have so many different needs for the money that I won't really contribute that much anyways first few years. I am planning on paying off all my debt first year, so that's a huge chunk. My main goal for my first job would be to go to a place that I enjoy and that will allow me to grow professionally. The salary is not bad, and I did not have as much negotiating power in this job because the practice owner knows that his practice is desirable. Most of the places that were willing to give me anything I wanted were either in bad locations or there was just something off about the practices after speaking to others in the community.

                        There are many places that offer good benefits on paper, but not exactly the best places to work for. I got a good location, excellent practice, good people. He said that the 401k was not in there initially as part of some legal maneuver for non partnership physicians. I also have seen many friends excited for their "excellent benefits" on paper, only to come to the practice and be unhappy. And honestly if there is no serious discussion of partnership track soon, I could always go elsewhere. No one forces you to stay at a job, this isn't residency or med school. Can this turn out to be not what they promised? maybe. But the worst that could happen is that I earn a decent salary at a good practice for some time and then I move on. Also, it will force me to make more money on my side gig or think of new side gigs.

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                        • #27


                          He said that the 401k was not in there initially as part of some legal maneuver for non partnership physicians
                          Click to expand...


                          Does this group have non-physician employees?  Nurses, etc etc

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                          • #28
                            Yes.

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                            • #29
                              "if there is no serious discussion of partnership track soon, I could always go elsewhere"

                              So path to partnership wasn't outlined in your contract? Hmmm...

                              Sounds like you're cheap help until you get wise to the fact that you're cheap help.

                              You're either misunderstanding something about how the practice is structured or they're taking advantage of your idealism and naivete.

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                              • #30
                                Something seems off. If it is truly one of those "you must work here for 1 year before you participate in the 401k" or whatever then no big deal versus "there's just not a retirement plan available period". But if it's something else with no defined partnership track then that's a bigger deal. It's important to get these kinds of decisions correct early on.

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