Getting on your feet

Getting to grips with the different financial products on the market can be a little daunting when you are a young dentist and have not long graduated. As well as having to familiarise yourself with all of the varying mortgages on offer, there are other financial areas to keep an eye on ranging from investments and tax issues to planning for your retirement. Sure, most of these products feel like they can wait for a few years – after all you have lots of time to sort them out.

However, those who are sensible will look into setting up schemes early, as in the long term they can save you a lot of money. Particularly at this time of year it isn’t unusual for people to be making phone calls to their accountants and banks, trying to make the most of their allowances what with the changing to the new financial year. While this is better than nothing, with a little planning you can avoid this rush and therefore be ahead of the game for the 11 other months of the year. Planning is the key to financial success, and if you bear this in mind throughout your dental career you are guaranteed to have a very comfortable retirement.

• ISAs:Don’t pay more than you have to

• Income tax: When it comes to paying tax you should make an appointment promptly to talk to an accountant. Dentists very often fall into the highest

paying tax bracket so it is important you ensure that you are not paying more than you have to. This means making good use of your personal tax allowance, knowing what kind of expenditure you can legitimately claim as work expenses and making sure that all the paperwork is in order to file your return. Remember it is not a good idea to leave your accounts to the last minute and always make sure you are saving a portion of your earnings each month towards your tax bill if you are classed as self-employed.

• Pensions: Pensions are an area where different people have different ideas. Whereas in years gone by pensions were considered a failsafe way of planning for your future, many people now to choose to invest money in property and intend to use the eventual sale of the property as their pension. Ultimately, putting money towards a pension is a tax efficient way of saving money and it gives you a certain sense of security by knowing you are regularly saving towards your retirement. There are plenty of different products on the market so it is important to consult an Independent Financial Adviser before you sign up for anything.

Of course if you are working solely for the NHS, you will be able to take advantage of the NHS pension scheme. You can even buy added years on to your pension by simply contacting the scheme’s main offices. The main thing to bear in mind is to have something organised for your future. It may seem like a long way off now but you don’t want to be caught short when retirement comes around.

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