Pros & Cons of Investing in an IRA

Is an IRA good for your situation?

For those who don’t know what an IRA is, it stands for an individual retirement account. They are a popular place to save for retirement because they are flexible from the standpoint of what you can invest in. For example you can choose mutual funds, ETFs, index funds, bonds, stocks, and even things like limited partnerships and collectibles. Another major reason for their popularity is that they provide a tax deduction so that you can reduce your income taxes.

What about the bad news? Here are some of the reasons why they are not popular…

  • iraYou cannot borrow from the account. It is stuck in there until age 59.5
  • No selling property to it
  • Not able to use it as security for a loan
  • Cannot buy property for personal use

The big issue with IRAs are the penalties. If you go outside of the investment restrictions it can cost you big time.

Anything from the amount of money taken from the IRA to the entire balance being treated as taxable income if you violate the restrictions.

The penalty is for pulling the money out before the eligible retirement window is 10%

  • The most common limitation to traditional IRAs and Roth IRAs are the income limits. Once you make over a certain amount, you cannot contribute to them any longer in the normal prescribed manner. You have to use additional methods in order to participate in them to get around the income restrictions.
  • The biggest drawback of all in my opinion to IRAs is that you can’t invest very much. They limit your contribution to $5500 in 2016.

What about IRAs in the employer sponsored world? Is that possible?

Yes, IRAs can be used for SEPs and Simples. They are employer sponsored retirement plans. Both of them are set up for each participant. Simples are similar but are subject to additional special rules which we won’t get into today.

For self-employed doctors with no employees, SEPs are a great place to save for retirement. Usually, any of that income you earn on your own as a contractor qualifies. Instead of being limited to $5500 you can do up to the greater of 25% or $53k in 2016. For example if you are making less than $200k you would fall under the 25% rule but once you make over $212k you can do the full $53k.

Retirement plans offered through the workplace usually limit participants to an 18k contribution per year if they have a 401k, 403 or 457b. With a SEP you can do much more than this which provides a much needed boost toward retirement savings.

What should you do in your situation? Which type of IRA program is best and how should you go about getting the most out of them? Talk with you advisor or feel free to contact us. We are a fee only financial planner and investment advisor and would be happy to take any of your questions.

doctors life podcast

The Doctor’s Life Podcast 046- Financial Planning Technology Has Changed Everything

The Game Has Changed With New Financial Planning Technology

When you think of financial planning, you may think of endless paperwork and hand cramps just to get started. That has all changed. You could say that it’s not your dad’s financial plan any longer.

Nick Schneider is back on The Doctor’s Life Podcast to talk about technology in the financial planning world, and how it has made it easier for all involved. All episodes of The Doctor’s Life Podcast are available here, iTunes, and Android. Make sure to subscribe and you will be the first to get new episodes of The Doctor’s Life Podcast. Continue reading…

What’s The Deal With Taxes?

Feel like you’re paying too much for taxes? You are not alone.

“No new taxes!”. Those were the words of George Bush Sr. when he was running for president in 1988. Similar messages are communicated and thought of not only during election years, but this sentiment resonates in the minds of most who are trying to find ways to lower the amount of taxes they pay regardless if it’s an election year.

3D Reduce Taxes Crossword on white backgroundIf I were to ask you if you think taxes are higher than they were 30 years ago, most of you would say yes. While this is true, it’s not quite that simple, let me explain. Approximately 30 years ago, there were only 2 income tax brackets, 15% and 28%. If you filed your taxes as married filing jointly, any income you earned under $29,750 was taxed at 15% and any income you earned over that amount was taxed at 28%. For single tax payers, it was 15% for any income earned under $17,850 and 28% for any income over $17,850. Today, things look a little different. If you file your taxes as married filing jointly, you can make up to $231,450 before you go above the 28% tax bracket. If you file as single, you can make up to $190,150 and still be in the 28% tax bracket. For higher income earners, the highest tax bracket for 2016 is 39.6% and this percentage is used to calculate the amount of taxes you pay for any income over $415,050 for single filers and $466,950 for married joint filers. One common misconception is that if you make $500,000, the entire $500,000 will be taxed at the higher tax bracket. While this might be how it feels, this isn’t the case. You see, your income is taxed at graded increasing levels the higher your total income is. There are currently 7 income tax brackets ranging from 10% – 39.6%. To understand how you’re taxed we need to be familiar with a few terms. You may have heard of the terms marginal tax rate and effective tax rate. The marginal tax rate is the highest tax bracket someone is in based on their total amount of annual income. The effective tax rate is actual tax rate you pay when you figure all of your income because your income is taxed at the different tax rates so some of your income would be taxed at 10%, some at 15%, some at 25%, some at 28% and so on, depending on how much you earn. Continue reading…

doctors life podcast

The Doctor’s Life Podcast 045- Pros & Cons of IRAs

The Good and Bad of IRAs

When it comes to financial planning, there are several routes to go. Each typically has some factors that may make you pause. IRAs are one of the most common financial planning vehicles, and they are no different.

Justin Nabity is back in The Doctor’s Life Podcast studio with a list of pros and cons to IRAs that you may not have thought of before. All episodes of The Doctor’s Life Podcast are available here, iTunes, and on Android. Make sure to subscribe and you will be the first to get new episodes of The Doctor’s Life Podcast. Continue reading…

doctors life podcast

The Doctor’s Life Podcast Episode 041- “The Splurgers”

There comes a time in your career where you believe you have enough income to purchase anything and everything you’ve waited on. It might be that car you’ve dreamed about or that vacation home on the lake. And then the bills start coming in. Oops!

Nick Schneider is back on The Doctor’s Life Podcast with a couple of stories of clients that believed they could afford a few immediate purchases that ended up (almost) throwing them off-track of their financial goals. All episodes of The Doctor’s Life Podcast are available here, iTunes, Android, and on SoundCloud. Make sure to subscribe and you will be the first to get new episodes of The Doctor’s Life Podcast.


How Much Money Do You Need to Retire?

“So, how much money do I need to actually retire?”

This question came up when we were at the American Academy of Ophthalmology conference in Chicago speaking with a group of eye surgeons. The moment it was asked, I was thinking to myself how am I going to give him a simple answer for this because are so many variables that come into play. He was looking for an exact number. For any fee only financial planner out there, we all can share the same sentiment…it’s like where do we begin, which layer do we start with.

Is there a specific dollar amount that has to be achieved in order to be able to make it? You may have heard $3M or $5M or some other number. Well there are two different numbers to consider. There’s the amount you must have saved by retirement and there is the total amount of spending over the course of retirement with the latter being much more significant. Continue reading…

Why Do You Need a Financial Planner?

So, do you actually need a financial planner?

We all have things we want to accomplish in life. If you’re like most, you’ve spent some time thinking about these things. Initially, it’s as simple as deciding on what area of medicine you want to practice. Beyond that, it usually consists of putting together a more detailed list of the things you want to accomplish, a list of the goals you have.

As a physician, you’ve spent countless hours preparing and training for your profession. A lot of times, the idea of taking care of the financial essentials can seem a bit overwhelming. Whether it’s making sure the contract you’re offered is fair and equitable or getting the adequate amount of disability insurance, each one of these things, along with funding any other goal for that matter, can feel like just another item to take care of and one more thing you can check off your list.

I would suggest however, there’s a better way to approach these things and all your goals for that matter, so you don’t sell yourself short. Continue reading…

doctors life podcast

The Doctor’s Life Podcast Episode 035- Why Do Financial Planning?

If you are currently with a financial planner or not, you’ve still wondered “Why do financial planning?”. You wonder if you are maximizing your investments or even your own paycheck.

Dave Swan makes his debut on The Doctor’s Life Podcast to tell you what you should expect with financial planning and what work you need to put in to make sure your financial planning is reaching its potential. All episodes of The Doctor’s Life Podcast are available here, iTunes, Android, and on SoundCloud. Make sure to subscribe and you will be the first to get new episodes of The Doctor’s Life Podcast. Continue reading…

doctors life podcast

The Doctor’s Life Podcast Episode 033- Keep Your Spouse Involved In Your Finances

It may not be something you want to hear, but keeping your spouse involved in your finances is important. I know, I know…sometimes they are terrible with money. Or maybe they just aren’t interested in going through financial goals or looking at a present-day money situation. It is important for your family’s financial goals that they are involved. If both of you are involved, you will be directed towards one common goal.

Nick Schneider is in The Doctor’s Life Podcast studio to explain why it is important for you to have your spouse involved in your finances. All episodes of The Doctor’s Life Podcast are available here, iTunes, Android, and on SoundCloud. Make sure to subscribe and you will be the first to get new episodes of The Doctor’s Life Podcast. Continue reading…

Weekly Economic Report for June 6th, 2016

Amber Nabity Stitt Presents:




“All the world’s a stage and most of us are desperately unrehearsed.”


– Sean O’Casey



Self-employed? Note that you can deduct 100% of your health insurance premiums (for yourself and your family) as an adjustment to gross income.



Three feet have I, yet not a single leg. What am I?


Last week’s riddle:

I descend softly, fade away gently, change the color of the ground, but I never go up the way I come down. What am I?


Last week’s answer:






June 6, 2016



Did any economist foresee payrolls expanding by just 38,000 jobs in May? The median forecast compiled by MarketWatch projected a gain of 155,000, not the worst number since September 2010. The Department of Labor reduced March and April payroll gains by 59,000 in its new report, meaning monthly job creation averaged 116,000 in the past three months. As labor force participation declined 0.6% in May, the headline jobless rate fell to 4.7%. Annualized wage growth was at 2.5%.1,2



In better news, personal spending rose 1.0% in April according to the Department of Commerce. This was the biggest monthly spending gain since August 2009. Personal incomes were up 0.4% in April as well.2,3



Both of the purchasing manager indices maintained by the Institute for Supply Management were above the 50 level in May, indicating sector growth. The upside? The manufacturing PMI improved 0.5 points to 51.3. The downside? The service sector PMI slipped 2.8 points to 52.9.2



Last month brought a decline in the Conference Board’s index of consumer confidence. Analysts surveyed by MarketWatch forecast a May reading of 96.7 for the index, yet it fell 2.1 points to 92.6 in its second straight monthly descent.2,3



Immediately after the May jobs report, futures traders put the odds of a June interest rate hike under 10%. Even so, there was no rally at the end of a short trading week. While the Nasdaq rose 0.83% in four days, the S&P 500 was flat for the week (to be precise, it added 0.07 points) and the Dow lost 0.12%. The Friday settlements: DJIA, 17,807.06; S&P, 2,099.13; NASDAQ, 4,942.52.1,4


THIS WEEK: Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen speaks on the economy and monetary policy Monday in Philadelphia; investors will also consider earnings from Casey’s General Stores and Thor Industries. Tuesday, Michaels and VeriFone report earnings. Wednesday, Lululemon Athletica presents Q1 results. Thursday offers quarterly results, plus the latest initial claims numbers, from H&R Block and J.M. Smucker. The University of Michigan’s preliminary June consumer sentiment index appears Friday.


DJIA +2.19 -1.49 +9.31 +5.83
NASDAQ -1.30 -3.07 +16.17 +12.27
S&P 500 +2.70 -0.71 +12.29 +6.29
10 YR TIPS 0.19% 0.55% 0.75% 2.37%

Sources:,, – 6/3/165,6,7,8

Indices are unmanaged, do not incur fees or expenses, and cannot be invested into directly. These returns do not include dividends. 10-year TIPS real yield = projected return at maturity given expected inflation.



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Securities offered through Lion Street Financial, LLC. (LSF), Member FINRA & SIPC. Investment Advisory Services offered through Physician Investment Advisors, LLC. Physician Advisors and Physician Investment Advisors are not affiliated with LSF.

This material was prepared by MarketingPro, Inc., and does not necessarily represent the views of the presenting party, nor their affiliates. This information has been derived from sources believed to be accurate. Please note – investing involves risk, and past performance is no guarantee of future results. The publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting or other professional services. If assistance is needed, the reader is advised to engage the services of a competent professional. This information should not be construed as investment, tax or legal advice and may not be relied on for the purpose of avoiding any Federal tax penalty. This is neither a solicitation nor recommendation to purchase or sell any investment or insurance product or service, and should not be relied upon as such. All indices are unmanaged and are not illustrative of any particular investment. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is a price-weighted index of 30 actively traded blue-chip stocks. The NASDAQ Composite Index is an unmanaged, market-weighted index of all over-the-counter common stocks traded on the National Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotation System. The Standard & Poor’s 500 (S&P 500) is an unmanaged group of securities considered to be representative of the stock market in general. It is not possible to invest directly in an index. NYSE Group, Inc. (NYSE:NYX) operates two securities exchanges: the New York Stock Exchange (the “NYSE”) and NYSE Arca (formerly known as the Archipelago Exchange, or ArcaEx®, and the Pacific Exchange). NYSE Group is a leading provider of securities listing, trading and market data products and services. The New York Mercantile Exchange, Inc. (NYMEX) is the world’s largest physical commodity futures exchange and the preeminent trading forum for energy and precious metals, with trading conducted through two divisions – the NYMEX Division, home to the energy, platinum, and palladium markets, and the COMEX Division, on which all other metals trade. Additional risks are associated with international investing, such as currency fluctuations, political and economic instability and differences in accounting standards. This material represents an assessment of the market environment at a specific point in time and is not intended to be a forecast of future events, or a guarantee of future results. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Investments will fluctuate and when redeemed may be worth more or less than when originally invested. All economic and performance data is historical and not indicative of future results. Market indices discussed are unmanaged. Investors cannot invest in unmanaged indices. The publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting or other professional services. If assistance is needed, the reader is advised to engage the services of a competent professional.



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