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The Business of Practice: Personal Financial Wellness

In Episode 20 of the podcast, we talk with accountant and veterinarian Marsha Heinke about personal financial wellness.
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When it comes to saving, Dr. Heinke said, "The best time to plant a tree is today," meaning that saving even a little early in life—or starting right now no matter where you are in your career—can make a big difference down the road.

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"One reason I shifted away from veterinary practice to business was to take care of me and my loved ones," said Marsha L Heinke, DVM, EA, CPA, CVPM. She is a doctor of veterinary medicine, an Enrolled Agent, a Certified Public Accountant and a Certified Veterinary Practice Manager. Heinke said she had to "reset" her goals at that point in her life, but that "choice can empower people and lower stress."

She said there are many studies that show that one of the leading causes of professional burnout is financial stress. 

The Business of Practice podcast is brought to you by Dechra Veterinary Products.

Taking charge of your business and personal finances can make a world of difference in your stress. Heinke said Millennials need better money habits, as one recent study showed 44% of that generation had not saved for retirement.

When it comes to saving, Heinke said, "The best time to plant a tree is today," meaning that saving even a little early in life—or starting right now no matter where you are in your career—can make a big difference down the road.

She said guidelines for saving for retirement show that those in their 20s should save 25% of their salary before taxes. So if you are paid $100, then you should save $25.

She said that by age 30, you should have saved the equivalent of one year of your salary (after taxes or take-home pay). Here is her list of how much you should have saved by specific ages:

Age 35 should have saved two times your salary

  • Age 40 three times your salary
  • Age 45 four times your salary
  • Age 50 five times your salary
  • Age 55 six times your salary
  • Age 60 seven times your salary
  • Age 65 eight times your salary
  • And Fidelity recommends you have saved 10 times your salary by age 67.

Developing 'financial literacy' is important for veterinarians of any age, and Heinke talks more about that in the podcast.

She recommended that every veterinarian should have a CPA and a personal financial planner or advisor. She reminded listeners that everyone—no matter their age—should have death or estate planning done. And Heinke said life insurance is important especially if you have children. "The younger you are, the cheaper life insurance is," she reminded.

To hear many more tips from Heinke, tune in to The Business of Practice podcast.

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The Business of Practice podcast
is brought to you by Dechra Veterinary Products

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