Doctors, dentists, lawyers, all professionals are extremely busy. They work long hours and have active family and personal lives. They receive meaningful compensation for their work, both in taxable income and tax-deferred compensation. It is this combination that must be managed over time in order to accumulate the necessary corpus from which they will derive income when they elect to slow down or stop work altogether. And because the significant income often supports a dynamic family, protecting it should be central to the plan. As with many of our actively working clients, managing a complex financial situation on top of their other responsibilities begs the question: how do I take advantage of my elongated earnings period to accumulate and manage the assets I will need in the future?
- How do I make the most of peak earning years?
- How do I allocate money between taxable and tax-deferred accounts?
- How do I minimize the impact of taxes on high ordinary income?
- How do I protect my family if I can’t work for a period of time or if I become disabled?
- I make a lot of money; what size mortgage is appropriate?
- How do we pay for the education of our children?
- How do I think about the unique liabilities that may come from being a professional (asset protection)?
Certain professionals are part of a professional association or private partnership and may own the building out of which the entity operates. This brings with it a number of questions:
- Is the entity protected in the event one of my partners dies?
- What happens if one of us gets divorced?
- How are shares in the entity/property addressed when one of the partners retires?
- What is the buyout structure? Schedule?