Retirement Planning for Nurse Practitioners – At My Age?!

By Ben Nanney, CPA and CFP

For many of us, traditional retirement can seem like a lifetime away. In fact, if you’re 30 and plan to retire when you reach the standard 65-year mark, retirement is greater than a lifetime away! What’s more, many of you may genuinely enjoy your career and have no plans to ever fully retire. In either case, why bother thinking about retirement? Two reasons: time and freedom.

Magic is entertaining and can be amazing, but it is an illusion. When it comes to retirement planning, time is the closest thing to magic we have, except it isn’t an illusion. With time, small amounts of money invested early in your nurse practitioner career can grow to large amounts of money over the years. Below is an example of the powerful effect of time:

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Looking above, we can see how $5,000 grows over time, assuming an 8% annual return. The more time money has, the more impressive the final amount becomes. For a 30- year-old nurse practitioner who invests $5,000, her investment would be worth approximately $80,000 at 65—sixteen times her original investment. Once time has passed, there is no going back, so make the years you have work to your advantage.

The idea of retirement might not be motivating, but what about the idea of freedom? When you plan and act, you provide yourself with more options for the years ahead; a freedom of choice. Maybe you hit 50 and decide you’d like to scale back to part-time or PRN and begin volunteer work for a local clinic that provides free health services for the poor. Or you turn 65, and contrary to what you expected years before, you want to stop working to focus on your family, friends, and causes you care strongly about. Life changes and so can your perspective. Planning and saving for the future provides you with the flexibility to view these transitions as opportunities rather than roadblocks.

In the next post, we’ll look at accounts used to plan for your future retirement, including 401k, 403b, and IRA options. Stay tuned!


Ben Nanney, CPA and CFP, is a fee-only financial planner with Fox & Company Wealth Management who specializes in working remotely with medical professionals throughout the U.S. He welcomes comments or questions and can be reached by email at or by phone at (270) 247-0555.


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