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How to Start Saving for Retirement: An Introduction for Dental Hygienists

Jan 13, 2017

Author: Amber Metro-Sanchez

Saving for retirement may not be at the top of your priority list now, but maybe it should be. Everyone wants to have a dream retirement free of financial worries. If you start saving for retirement, you will be able to avoid some stress down the road and hopefully have a relaxing future to look forward to. Follow these tips and as necessary see a financial advisor and tax advisor to get on the right track.

Take Control of Your Retirement Planning

In the field of dentistry, oftentimes you are responsible for much of your own retirement planning. According to Dentistry IQ, 67 percent of full-time (and 48 percent of part-time) dental hygienists are offered some type of retirement plan through their employers. If not, saving for retirement is entirely on your shoulders. The Social Security Administration notes that the average monthly benefit for a retiree is $1,348, a far cry from a comfortable monthly allowance.

Learn about Retirement Planning

Learning about retirement may seem like a chore, but studying will pay off in the end. Your employer may offer a retirement plan. Alternatively, many companies specialize in financial planning and retirement plans, and their advisors are available to teach you about your options and can help get you started.

You probably have heard about a 401(k), but you may not know the details about this type of retirement plan. According to Vanguard, 401(k) plans are offered through an employer. Your contributions are tax deferred, and may be automatically deducted from your paycheck. Some employers offering this plan to employees may also match your contribution up to a certain percentage, which gives you additional money in your 401(k) that you would not receive otherwise.

If your employer does not offer any type of retirement plans, a Roth IRA may be a good way for you to save money on your own, depending on your circumstances. If you are eligible, this type of IRA allows you to contribute up to $5,500 per year if you are under age 50, more if you are older, and does not require you to pay any taxes when you make withdrawals upon retiring. However, you do not get any tax deductions right now. Whether or not you are eligible to contribute to a Roth IRA also depends on your income level and including, for example, if you are married and filing taxes jointly.

Another type of retirement account you can open is a traditional IRA. You may be able to contribute up to $5,500 a year to this type of account if you are under age 50, more if you are older. This type of account may give you a tax deduction up front for contributions, depending on your income level and whether or not you also have a retirement plan, and you may be required to pay taxes once you start withdrawing money from the account.

It is essential if you are considering these type of plans that you properly understand your options, tax status and circumstances determining what you can and cannot do. A financial/retirement advisor and tax advisor should be consulted.

Create Goals

When it comes to financial planning, knowledge and action are both key. Even if you start off small, it will pay off in the end.

A retirement calculator is a great tool to help you decide how much to save for retirement. You simply fill in information, such as your current age, when you would like to retire, and a range of how much money you think you would be able to contribute on a yearly basis. Then, the results of this tool will show you how close you would be to reaching your financial goals. The retirement calculator shows how retirement funds can grow more easily if you start early on in your career.

Saving for retirement is a necessary part of your career. When you start saving money now, you won't have to stress yourself out as you near retirement age as you will already have a solid plan in place.


  • Start saving early in your career for retirement.
  • Take the time to learn about all available plans, and get proper guidance and advice, so that you can select the best one for you.
  • Stick to your financial plan and remember that your hard work will be worth it.

Why It's Valuable:

Being able to enjoy your retirement is something we all want to be able to look forward to. Planning and follow through can help you with your financial goals.

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