The Key to Retiring Early

January 28, 2017
VMD Staff

Many veterinarians dream of retiring early, but there are factors to consider before taking the plunge.

Maybe you don’t want to retire early. Maybe you love being a veterinarian so much that you’re willing to maintain your practice into your late 70s or early 80s. Maybe not. Maybe your health won’t be so great by then. The fact is that you never know what the future will bring, so why not prepare now for an early retirement?

What Can You Do Right Now?

We don’t need to complicate things. It’s pretty simple, really: If you want to retire early, start saving and investing early. We’re not talking small here—you’ll need to save and invest a lot. Save everything you can. Make sacrifices today that will allow you to call it a career by age 60, 55, or possibly even 50.

Each week, put the money you’d have spent eating out or going to the movies into a solid retirement plan. Make smart investment choices. Familiarize yourself with the stay-cation. Who needs Ireland when there’s an Irish pub around the corner? Who needs Bermuda when you have Bermuda shorts?

If you save up now, you may be able to splurge, travel, and eat out when you retire.

The Considerations for Early Retirement

The situation isn’t really that dire. Many veterinarians have retired early and had sufficient income to last through their retirement years. Living like a monk isn’t exactly a requirement, but there are three major considerations for those wishing to retire early.

  • Retiring early means a much earlier stop date to your income.
  • Retiring early means a much longer timeframe where you must stretch your income.
  • Retiring early means you won’t receive supplemental coverage from Social Security or any pension income for years.

For most veterinarians, these things may mean a later retirement. How late depends on many factors, including some miscellaneous variables such as a significant appreciation of your veterinary practice or an unexpected inheritance. But mostly it will depend on how early you started investing, how well you’ve invested, and how much you’ve invested.

Still want to retire early? Better get started now.