January 03, 2022

Over 50% of CRNAs are planning to retire in the next 10 years.
How can YOU prepare today?

Getting ready to retire from your career as a CRNA can be both exciting and anxiety-inducing. You’ve worked hard and are ready to enjoy the fruits of your years as a nurse anesthesiologist, but navigating your finances to ensure financial health and freedom during your non-working years can be daunting. This can be especially scary when you have no way of knowing how long your retirement will last…

Whether you plan to retire in ten years, five years, or next year, here are a few things you can do to make sure your retirement is as fulfilling as you deserve.

  • If you’re thinking about retiring, the first step is to review your retirement accounts. This includes 401(k)s, 403(b)s, 457(b)s, IRAs, Roth IRAs and any possible pensions. Do you have a good mix of pre-tax and Roth retirement assets? You’ll want to ensure your accounts have a diversified mix of investments from a variety of asset classes. The goal is to balance your risk tolerance with expected returns in such a way that you do not lose too much principal in the years leading up to retirement. The sooner a CRNA plans to retire, the more conservative your portfolio should be.

    If you don’t have retirement accounts, take a moment to decide if you should reconsider your timing. Whether you’re a W-2 CRNA or a 1099 CRNA, retirement savings are crucial to stepping out of the workforce. You’ll need to talk with a financial advisor who understands CRNAs to decide how much to put away each year, or if you’re an independent contractor, set up a retirement plan. While Social Security can be a helpful boost to your retirement income, it should not be your primary source of income in retirement. Now is the time to make sure your retirement savings align with your expected expenses.

  • Don’t forget to factor in medical expenses. One common mistake made by potential retirees is discounting the amount needed for future medical expenses and health care. Whether you’re age 55, 65 or 75, come up with a plan and budget for your health insurance and associated medical expenses. If you’re not yet 65, what will you do for health insurance until you are Medicare eligible – this can take a huge chunk out of your monthly budget! If you’re age 65+, don’t expect that Medicare will cover all your health needs. Did you know that the premiums for your Medicare Part B and D are income based? Make sure that you understand the extra costs involved with Medicare and factor them into your monthly cost of living. To help balance cash flow in retirement, try to have any needed medical procedures completed prior to leaving your working years.
  • Make an income plan for retirement. Budgeting during your retirement years is essential. For CRNAs who have enjoyed healthy salaries during their working years, cutting back spending and living on a fixed income can prove to be a challenge. Try to pay off as much debt as possible prior to retirement – this could include credit card debt, student loans, auto loans, personal debt and possibly even mortgages. Many retirees fall into financial hardship because they spend retirement savings on their children’s or grandchildren’s education or decide to travel too often (especially in the early years) and deplete their accounts. By carefully planning your budget and focusing on yourself, your retirement funds will last much longer. Be sure to build some fluff into your budget to cover surprise expenses!
  • Change your mindset from saving to spending. As a retiree, you’ll want to access your savings at the right time in the most responsible way possible. As you begin to withdraw from your retirement accounts, it’s important to consider the taxable implications for the sources of your income. With your advisor, create an income plan and only withdraw extra money after discussing and understanding the ramifications. Cash flow planning will help you evaluate what you can afford without running out of money or depleting your savings too quickly.

With a bit of planning now, you can enjoy your retirement. If you have years left before your retirement, maximizing your retirement savings now can increase your spending ability later. At CRNA Financial Planning®, we specialize in helping CRNAs plan for and navigate their retirement journey. From the early stages of accumulation, through the pre-retirement years, and long into retirement, our CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professionals are here to help keep you on track in any market environment. To discuss your retirement plan, call our office at 855.304.3748, email, or schedule a free 15-minute introductory phone call today.

Investment Advice offered through Private Advisor Group, LLC, a Registered Investment Advisor.