Ep 173: When Guessing Goes Wrong for CRNAs in Retirement

When planning for retirement, many CRNAs end up guessing at some of the most important questions. You’d never enter an operating room unprepared so why risk everyone you’ve worked so hard for throughout your career by not having a plan in place? Today we’ll get answers to these key financial questions so you don’t have to play the guessing game.

Click the timestamps below to help you navigate through the many topics we discussed.

On This Episode:

With a significant percentage of the CRNA workforce moving into the final decade of their working career, there’s never been more of a need for financial guidance. So many CRNAs have spent years and decades building a nice nest egg and that’s something we want to help you protect.

Jeremy Stanley, CFP®, and his team at CRNA Financial Planning® have been providing comprehensive retirement planning and investment strategies to CRNAs all across the country and know the key areas where many people end up guessing. The problem with taking an approach that relies on luck rather than preparation is that you risk everything you’ve been working for.

Financial planning isn’t rocket science and it’s something that many CRNAs could probably handle on their own, but it requires a commitment and significant time investment to stay updated. Most CRNAs don’t have that extra time or the interest to handle money on their own, and that’s why an advisor can be such a great partner. They can help you navigate these key planning items and give you the confidence to enjoy life after the operating room.

Let’s take a look at the common areas where guessing often takes over and help explain why this can be a problem down the road.

Retirement Income

How much income are you going to need in retirement? It’s one of the first questions we ask when we do retirement planning for a client. Many times the room goes quiet at that point, which is when we begin talking about the family budget.

But the truth is, the more money you make, the less you budget. That’s why many CRNAs don’t track every dollar each month but that has to change once you stop working. When you’re talking about retirement, you’re talking about a finite resource in terms of what you’ve saved and what you might get from Social Security and you have to be able to manage that.

The typical person will underestimate how much money they’ll need in retirement, which is why we try to get a better understanding of the lifestyle you want to enjoy. Once we do that, then we can determine how much money you will need to cover those expenses. And most of the time we recommend our clients test that budget for a few months before they retire to see if it needs to be adjusted.

Either way, an income plan helps you avoid a big mistake.

Planning for Major Expenses

The next area that gets overlooked when getting a grasp on our finances is planning for major expenses. That’s why we run simulations on your plan that tells us how much ‘fluff’ money you having, meaning how much extra money do you have beyond your monthly needs? You have to make sure you’re making adjustments to account for those emergencies and major purchases that we know will pop up but don’t have any idea when. If you’re running a tight budget in retirement, it could put you in a bad position should these large expenses become a reality.

Inflation

This is a big buzzword right now after inflation numbers have skyrocketed in 2022. It hasn’t been something people have worried too much with in recent years, but we’re all feeling it right now.

The key thing to remember with inflation is that it erodes your buying power over time. If you had $100,00 sitting in a bank over the last twelve months without generating any interest, you would have lost about $7,500 in buying power due to inflation. It’s so important that you have a plan that accounts for inflation, even when it’s low, and your money needs to generate a return that outpaces inflation so that you don’t go broke slowly over the course of retirement. 

Healthcare Costs

There are basically two areas in our country where costs are increasing at a faster rate than inflation: education and healthcare. You’re likely not going to have any tuition expenses in retirement but we can guarantee that we’ll all have medical expenses, right? On top of that, there’s no telling what a doctor’s visit, nursing home care, or assisted living might cost in 10 or 20 years.

We always worry about the first person that’s going to need care because they are going to require a lot of the resources and it won’t leave the second person much money to live off. That’s why you need to make sure you have a plan in place to cover whatever these costs might end up being.  

All of these things are vital to your retirement success and you can leave it up to a guess. If you want to learn more about your financial plan, connect with Jeremy at CRNA Financial Planning.

Check it out at the top of the page and use the timestamps to help you navigate through the many topics we discussed.

3:10 – What we’re talking about today

5:25 – How much monthly income will you need?

7:07 – Trying to determine lifespans

8:22 – Underestimating your needs 

10:32 – Monthly average income needs 

12:53 – Planning for major purchases 

15:16 – Millennials are savers

16:48 – Inflation 

18:03 – Interest rates

21:38 – Healthcare costs

26:35 – Final thoughts


“When we’re talking about this stuff, we can’t reiterate enough, especially when the average CRNA is 51-years-old, we know that half of the CRNA population is going to retire in the next 10 years or so. A lot of people are going to have to be making decisions out there and we want to help them with that.”

-Jeremy Stanley, CFP®

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