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Retirement planning in residency

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  • Retirement planning in residency

    Just started general surgery residency this year. My wife and I will have a gross income of about 100,000 combined. We currently max out our Roth IRA's every year. My residency does offer a 403b but they have 0% match.  I'm not totally in love with any of their options, to be honest, and my Roth has had good returns using low cost index funds.  Is it worth it to put less in a Roth and shift some to my employer 403b for the pre-tax benefit?

  • #2
    Max your two Roths. That’s $12k. Saving more at this stage in your career is more important than saving more later, all else equal. So eat free at the hospital, live frugally, and save as much as you can in the 403b - provides the investment options aren’t garbage.

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    • #3


      Is it worth it to put less in a Roth and shift some to my employer 403b for the pre-tax benefit?
      Click to expand...


      no. you are in 12% bracket. every single penny should be Roth.

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      • #4
        No. Max Roth, and then put any extra into the 403(b).

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        • #5
          Roth IRA. Then Roth 403b if available. No real motivation to save in a pretax 403b at your income level since withdrawals will likely be at higher rate in many years. If no Roth 403b I would likely build EF after funding $12,000 direct Roth IRA

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          • #6
            Agree with the above. Also, it's never too early to start planning for retirement.

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            • #7
              Money is money. Just because your tax rate will be higher in the future doesn't mean that pre tax contributions as a resident are worthless... Obviously Roth options are ideal

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              • #8
                Try to see if your 403b has a Roth 403b option. If it does, do that instead of traditional. No student loans? Try to get $20k or 20% into retirement. So $12k into Roth IRA and $8k into Roth 403b. Does your wife have a 403:401K? Does she have a match? If so you need to use hers. She might also have better fund options

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                • #9
                  agree Roth IRA, and Roth 403b if avail
                  HSA?
                  Emergency fund?
                  What about debt?

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                  • #10
                    Thanks for all the advice.

                    I don't have a Roth 403b option and my wife has no retirement options through her family business. We're fortunate to have had some family help and I worked through med school, so no student debt. We do own a home and send our son to private school (public schools by us aren't good and we want him to get the best education possible). I have two other retirement accounts from pre-med school jobs. We also have a joint brokerage account and some be money in crowd sourced real estate.

                    From what the majority are saying, I think I'll keep my original plan of max the Roth accounts and hope there is a better employer option in 5-6 years.

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                    • #11
                      Related question, I am a first year resident with access to a governmental Roth 457 to which I can contribute up to 19K/ year (not going to be able to contribute nearly that much as an intern), my employer matches this account up to 3.5%.

                      I am obviously making my 3.5% Roth contribution to this account to get the match, but I am looking to put away some more Roth dollars and am curious if there is any advantage to opening a Roth IRA or should I just put as much as I can in this Roth 457?

                      The 457 offers low cost Fidelity index funds which is what I am invested in.

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                      • #12




                        From what the majority are saying, I think I’ll keep my original plan of max the Roth accounts and hope there is a better employer option in 5-6 years.
                        Click to expand...


                        if you have no debt, then i digress.

                        20% to retirement is the goal since you have no other obstructions.

                        100k -12k =8k that needs to go somewhere. it may as well be the 403 then.

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                        • #13


                          The 457 offers low cost Fidelity index funds which is what I am invested in.
                          Click to expand...


                          rIRA would still be ideal as you wouldnt have to worry about rolling it over afterwards.

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                          • #14
                            If all income is in 12% bracket I’m not sure I’d defer any pretax with no match, what is your state tax rate?

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                            • #15
                              If op has previous retirement accounts then op should roll those previous plans into Roth IRA and pay the taxes at 12%. Op should put 8k into 403b

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