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Retire right

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May 01, 2007
By dvm360.com staff

Q: How do I know whether I have the right retirement plan to meet my objectives? How do I evaluate my plan?

"The right retirement plan centers on saving enough money every year," says Veterinary Economics Editorial Advisory Board member Gary I. Glassman, CPA, a partner with Burzenski and Co. PC in East Haven, Conn. But how do you know what's enough? Here's one way to find out:

1. Determine the annual amount (after taxes) that you'll need to live comfortably during your retirement.
2. Multiply by 20.
3. Subtract what you've saved already.
4. Divide by the number of years you have left until you can retire.


Gary I. Glassman
This is the amount you should be saving every year. Many programs exist to help you and your employees reach your retirement objectives. The programs are easy to implement, but choosing the right one isn't easy, Glassman says. SIMPLE, 401(k), profit-sharing, defined-benefit, and SEP plans all have different parameters and requirements. When selecting one for your practice, Glassman recommends looking at your own retirement needs first. "Ask a pension specialist to show you how various plans would affect your cash flow and tax savings," he says.

If you're an employee, you don't have much control over what your employer offers, but maximize your savings into the plan anyway. If you need to save more than you can through your employer, consider contributing to an IRA also: a Roth IRA if you're young and in a low tax bracket, a deductible IRA if you're older and in a high tax bracket. Consult your tax and pension specialist to make sure you have the best possible chance of reaching your savings objectives, Glassman says.