Published in Non-Clinical

Managing Finances and Optometry Student Loans

This is editorially independent content
8 min read

This 27 page ebook by Adam Cmejla, CFP, will change the way you think about optometry student loans! Here, you'll find the tools to determine a strategy for paying them off and getting on the fast track for financial freedom!

Managing Finances and Optometry Student Loans

Invest or Pay Optometry Student Loans 🤔

Should you immediately begin paying optometry student loans or start investing after graduating from school? The answer can vary. We examine 3 different scenarios and strategies of paying off optometry student loans.

Refinancing Optometry Student Loans 💸

You might hear a lot about refinancing optometry student loans to save on loan interest. We cover what you need to know, and how refinancing can save you big bucks!

Buying That First Home 🏡

Buying a home is a massive financial decision. Can you afford a home if you're already in a massive amount of debt? We answer that question and many others.

Taxes : Independent Contractor vs 1099 💰

The last thing you want is a surprise from the IRS come tax season. We'll highlight what it means financially to be paid as an independent contractor versus an employee and how that impacts your tax liability. We'll also talk end of year planning to save on taxes!

Feeling overwhelmed by student debt? 💰 Check out our handy Student Loan Repayment Calculator! 🙌

All of what I’ve discussed in this ebook will not get done without your attention and proactive focus. It doesn’t happen by accident . . . but neither does anything else worth doing in our personal or professional lives. The difference between “You are successful” and “Are you successful” is you.

Optometrists face a major challenge due to the extra years of education required to achieve their degrees, the higher cost of that education, and the resulting optometry student loan debt. The options to address those debt challenges are often unclear.

In this ebook, we hope to equip young optometrists and healthcare professionals with the additional information and insight you need to help secure financial freedom—particularly when it comes to paying off optometry student loans, taxes, and buying a home.

New optometrists or current students on the cusp of graduating often ask:
“Should I begin saving for retirement right now or should I delay saving for retirement and focus on paying down my student loans as quickly as possible?”
While there is no right or wrong answer, the strategy you choose for paying off optometry student loans can make a massive impact on your financial future.

You can download the ebook for FREE — it will highlight THREE different strategies for paying off optometry student loans!

Setting the Stage 💰

There are typically a few main strategies one can utilize when attempting to pay off optometry student loans and debt in general:
  • Aggressively paying off debt
  • Aggressively saving for retirement (and staying in debt for the duration of the loan)
  • A hybrid approach
While there is no right or wrong answer, in a perfectly controlled situation, one of these scenarios results in almost a $200,000 difference in the amount of money you'll have available when it is time to retire!
Every approach has pros and cons — and it's amazing just how putting $500 into retirement every month rather than paying off optometry student loans can make a massive impact even over a five-year period.

How Refinancing Optometry Student Loans Saved Me Over 100K!

The amount of money borrowed to attend optometry school is not the amount of money that you'll need to pay back! Obviously, we are all aware that our loans are growing due to interest, but just how much does that interest add up to?


Here, we highlight our author's wife, an optometrist who graduated in 2011. The following represents the cost of education to attend optometry school with simple math showing what it would cost to pay back the loan over a 30 year period (standard terms).
"It still makes us sick to our stomach to look at when we think of how much we could have
potentially paid to her student loans over 30 years (had we taken that long to pay them off)."
Refinancing these loans ended up saving the author and his wife over 100K. It can certainly be a fantastic option for many but like everything else, there are a few caveats!

Don't worry! We explain the refinancing process along with the pros and cons in the ebook! Download it for free!

Can You Afford To Buy A Home With All That Optometry Student Loan Debt?
The simple answer is YES! Buying a home is a massive financial decision. Make sure you understand the totality of your financial situation, including your personal balance sheet of assets and liabilities as well as your income situation. If you’ve been renting and something goes wrong, you’re used to making a simple phone call to the leasing office to have the repair completed. Now, as a homeowner, you’ll be responsible for the coordination and payment of ALL repairs on your home.
There are a few things that you need to be aware of before you go on to purchase that home! A general, conservative rule to live by is to not over-leverage yourself in house payment compared to your TAKE HOME pay. Generally, we like to see this number stick somewhere between 25-32% of your after-tax/take home pay.
There are many terms to be familiar with when purchasing a home including:
  • Down Payment (how much do you need?)
  • Escrow
  • PMI (private mortgage insurance)
  • Mortgage Rates
We'll dive into all the details in the ebook!
Taxes and Employment Considerations
Unless you set up your own practice from day one, a component of your relationship with the practice that you started working with was whether the owner would hire you as a W-2 employee or 1099 independent contractor — a contracted optometrist.
This is one of the most debated and talked-about issues within practice ownership strategies and the IRS’s definitions of what constitutes an employee and what is considered a contracted provider. We won't get into that here, but it is important to know that your classification as an independent contractor can have massive tax implications!
You need to be aware of these, or else you run the risk of receiving a very unpleasant surprise come tax season!
A 1099 independent contractor is paid all earnings without any taxes withheld. Therefore, it is your responsibility to understand all of the taxes that you will be required to pay come tax time and budget accordingly throughout the year. While federal and state income taxes apply to both W-2 and 1099 earnings, we start seeing some differences in taxation when it comes down to Social Security and Medicare taxes.
Understanding the differences in taxation can be daunting, but if you are armed with the proper information, you can make sure you avoid independent contractor hell come tax season!
If you’re still looking for some more help on understanding taxes, and want to know five planning strategies to consider personally and professionally before year end to reduced your tax burden, download the ebook now!👇

This ebook will help you achieve financial freedom!👌

👩‍⚕️️ Invest or pay optometry student loans

  • Pay off optometry student loan debt aggressively
  • Invest into retirement heavily
  • Hybrid approach

🏡 Buying your first home

  • How much home can you afford
  • What is PMI? How can you avoid it?
  • Financial implications of home ownership

📊 Refinancing optometry student loans

  • Learn how to do it and where to get the information
  • Be aware of what to look for when refinancing
  • Understand how much it can save you and why

🔢 Understand taxes

  • Learn the difference between employee and independent contractor
  • Understand the tax implications and differences between the two categories of employment
  • Learn how to reduce your tax burden at year's end

Download the ebook!

Get on the road to paying off optometry student loans and understanding the nitty gritty of financial management!
Matt Geller, OD
About Matt Geller, OD

Matt Geller, OD is the co-founder and CEO of Eyes On Eyecare—the #1 provider of clinical and career education for the next generation of optometrists and ophthalmologists through our all-in-one digital content platform.

Matt Geller, OD
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