Financial Planning
May 23, 2024

Financial Planning for Nurses: 5 Important Considerations to Make

Stewart Willis

Financial planning is very important for everyone, including nurses. Nurses must be smart with their money because their job presents distinct challenges. Nurses dedicate their lives to caring for others with long shifts, unpredictable schedules, and emotional stress. This commitment can make financial planning for nurses an afterthought.

This blog will explore the aspects of financial planning for nurses. Sound financial management can empower nurses to make informed decisions, prepare for retirement, and handle life's challenges.

1. Debt from Student Loans

Many nurses graduate with substantial debt from their education, which can be a heavy burden to carry as they begin their careers. if your employer requires you to pursue a higher degree, such as a BSN, while working part-time, the financial strain can be even more pronounced. The tuition, textbooks, and other associated expenses of going back to school can be a substantial investment that nurses may need to make out of their own pockets.

Developing a personalized debt repayment plan, taking advantage of loan forgiveness programs, and exploring refinancing options are all important steps you can can take to get a handle on student debt.

Proactive measures to manage student loans can free up resources to focus on building a solid financial foundation and pursuing professional and personal aspirations. A financial advisor for nurses can help you establish a debt repayment plan or introduce strategies to reduce this burden.

2. Irregular Income

Nurses often have irregular income, with overtime hours and workload fluctuating from month to month. These fluctuations can make it difficult to manage finances and plan for the future without guidance. Without proper financial planning for nurses, you might even find yourself unexpectedly in a higher tax bracket than before.

One of the key steps is to create a detailed budget that accounts for both high and low-income months. By anticipating periods of increased or decreased earnings, nurses can allocate funds accordingly, so essential expenses are covered even during leaner times. This might involve setting aside a portion of higher-income months' earnings into savings account or emergency funds to draw from when needed.

Additionally, financial planning for nurses should build up a robust emergency fund. This financial cushion can provide a safety net during periods of reduced income, helping to prevent financial stress. This can help cover any unexpected costs without disrupting your budget.

3. Lack of Access to Employee Benefits

Many nurses work per diem instead of taking full-time positions. These nurses face special financial challenges, as they generally don’t have access to employer-sponsored retirement plans, health insurance, and other financial benefits of full-time nurses.

If you don’t have health benefits, you could benefit from a health savings account. With an HSA, you can use pre-tax dollars to pay for qualified medical expenses, such as copayments, deductibles, and coinsurance. This can result in significant savings compared to using post-tax income.

You can only open an HSA if you have a High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP). An HDHP typically has lower monthly premiums but requires you to pay a higher deductible before your insurance coverage kicks in.

If you’re a nurse without a full-time position, you might not have access to employer-sponsored benefits. Retirement plans for nurses, like 401ks or a 403b, health insurance, and other perks, can really make a difference.

This makes retirement planning for nurses a bit more challenging than your average person. Planning for retirement as a nurse can be tricky due to the demanding nature of the job. What happens if you suffer from an injury and need an early retirement?

A Roth IRA or a traditional IRA can probably be a great choice as retirement plans for nurses, depending on your needs. Working with a financial advisor for nurses can you find a retirement plan that works for you.

If you need an additional source of income, you might also benefit from an annuity in retirement. Annuities provide guaranteed income which could supplement your pension. This makes them a critical component of retirement planning for nurses. As cost of living is continuing to increase and inflation becomes the norm, you should aim to have multiple sources of income in your retirement.

Male nurse holding smiling piggy bank

4. Work-Related Expenses

Nurses face a myriad of work-related expenses. From maintaining their nursing licenses to investing in proper footwear and uniforms, the costs can quickly add up. On top of that, some nurses often have to cover the costs of essential equipment like stethoscopes, as well as parking or transportation to and from shifts.

And let’s not forget the meals—after long, exhausting hours on foot, who wouldn’t be too tired to cook when they get home? These work-related costs can be a significant financial burden, especially for nurses who may not be earning the highest salaries.

Nurses may also be responsible for covering the costs of essential certifications like CPR, ACLS, NALS, and more. This can quickly add up, especially when you factor in the need to regularly renew these certifications. Fortunately, some of these expenses are tax-deductible. Financial planning for nurses can help with creating a system for cash flow management and tax planning.

5. Travel and Relocation Costs

Travel nurses may have an even harder time than traditional nurses. Their job requires them to constantly be on the move, working at different hospitals for short periods. One of the primary financial considerations for travel nurses is managing the costs associated with frequent relocation. Rent, utilities, and other living expenses can fluctuate as they transition between assignments in different cities.

Even with compensation packages that include housing stipends and other benefits to offset these costs, a financial advisor for travel nurses can be helpful. Having another source of income or a healthy saving and investment strategy can help offset these expenses.

Travel nurses usually earn more money per hour than regular staff nurses because hospitals are willing to pay extra to attract skilled nurses who can work in different places. This higher pay can be a good thing, but travel nurses need to be careful about the times when they might not have work. These gaps between jobs can make their income less steady. A financial advisor for travel nurses can help with budgeting and cash flow management.

Take Care of Your Financial Health

Let the team at Asset Preservation Wealth and Tax help you find the solution to your financial woes. Our financial advisors are knowledgeable and friendly. Our goal is to provide you with a plan to live the life you want a fulfill your financial goals. We have a holistic view of your situation to give you a roadmap to the retirement you want.

Talk to a trusted financial planner today!

Stewart Willis is the founder and president of Asset Preservation Wealth & Tax, a financial planning firm in Phoenix, Arizona. Investment advisory services offered through Foundations Investment Advisors, LLC, an SEC registered investment adviser.

The commentary on this blog reflects the personal opinions, viewpoints and analyses of the author, Stewart Willis, providing such comments, and should not be regarded as a description of advisory services provided by Foundations Investment Advisors, LLC (“Foundations”), an SEC registered investment adviser or performance returns of any Foundations client. The views reflected in the commentary are subject to change at any time without notice. Nothing on this website constitutes investment, legal or tax advice, performance data or any recommendation that any particular security, portfolio of securities, transaction or investment strategy is suitable for any specific person. Personal investment advice can only be rendered after the engagement of Foundations for services, execution of required documentation, including receipt of required disclosures. Any mention of a particular security and related performance data is not a recommendation to buy or sell that security. Foundations manages its clients’ accounts using a variety of investment techniques and strategies, which are not necessarily discussed in the commentary. Any statistical data or information obtained from or prepared by third party sources that Foundations deems reliable but in no way does Foundations guarantee the accuracy or completeness. Investments in securities involve the risk of loss. Any past performance is no guarantee of future results. Advisory services are only offered to clients or prospective clients where Foundations and its advisors are properly licensed or exempted. For more information, please go to and search by our firm name or by our CRD # 175083.

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