Q&A: Retirement planning after medical school

April 9, 2010

If the retirement plan offers an employment match in which you will be vested when you finish your residency, you may want to consider contributing.

A: If the retirement plan offers an employer match in which you will be vested when you finish your residency, then you may want to consider contributing an amount that enables you to receive the full employer match. If no employer match is offered, or if you will lose the matched portion because you won't be vested by the time your residency ends, then you may want to skip the employer retirement plan and contribute to a Roth IRA instead. The general principle to remember is to aggressively save taxes when you're in a high tax bracket and not worry about tax savings when you're in a lower tax bracket. Right now, you most likely are in the lowest tax bracket of your career. Therefore, it may make sense to bypass the tax savings.