Many people consider doctors that have it made. They earn a high income doing something that deserves high esteem.
They are partly right, physicians do earn a lot and their job is something that is appreciated by many, however, it takes some careful planning to ensure that their future is as bright as it can be.
New physicians are at the highest level of danger when it comes to financial planning because they aren’t used to worrying about retirement, college funds, or even savings accounts.
Here are some helpful tips to help new physicians start their careers off right and see good things coming their way for decades to come:
1. Envision Your Future
Before you can plan for your future, you need to know what you want it to look like.
That’s why taking some time to sit and think about what your ideal life would entail. Determine what your main goals and priorities are now so that you can take steps that will bring you more in line with those in everyday life.
Write down your short and long-term goals and then sketch out a plan of action to make those a reality.
Rember, just because you wrote them down, doesn’t mean they are set in stone. Your top priorities may change with time but if you don’t have a goal to drive you forward, you will become stagnant.
2. Start Saving
The earlier you begin a savings plan, the better. Young physicians tend to enjoy the lifestyle they are earning a little too much. Make some smart moves and stay within your regular spending levels.
Falling prey to lifestyle inflation can make a new physician a stressed physician because they end up buried in debt even though they earn more than the average American.
When you get your first check that isn’t going towards bills, take out a good portion and put it towards savings. Then decide on an amount that you will set aside for your savings account each month and set it to automatic transfer from your checking account.
You’ll be surprised how fast this money will grow and it can be a lifesaver in an emergency.
3. Invest in Risk Management
Although it might be unpleasant to see a healthy portion of your money going towards paying insurance, physicians would be wise to make these investments.
Most healthcare employers provide malpractice insurance for their physicians, those in private practice need to purchase their own plan.
Learn about another crucial insurance that physicians need here.
3. Have a Professional Look at Your Taxes
Physicians pay a hefty amount in taxes. Finding just one credit or deductible that you otherwise wouldn’t have known about could potentially save you thousands of dollars during tax season.
No doubt doctors are bright human beings, but they aren’t educated on the complications of the tax code. There’s no shame in enlisting the help of a professional who does.
4. Keep a Budget
When your income is high, you don’t tend to worry about your spending. That’s where things get tricky.
Physicians who keep a budget are more likely to stay on track with their financial goals.
Need a little help getting started? Read this easy-to-follow article.
5. Refinance Your Student Loan
Doctors carry a large burden in student loan debt. Now that you are a working physician, these loans will need to be paid back.
Physicians need to research the best way to repay their loans to save money and make them affordable.
Income-based repayment schedules are an easy way to make sure you can afford the monthly payments but if you want to save money, consider working locum tenens to earn more money to pay for your student loans.
6. Have a Retirement Plan
While most new physicians are relatively young, it’s still important that they take the necessary time to create a retirement plan.
There are several options open to physicians that will allow them to save on taxes while putting aside some money for retirement. These include their 401k, Profit-sharing, or Cash-balance plans.
Physicians can also take advantage of the benefits of a Roth IRA or backdoor Roth IRA.
7. Trust the Experts
When patients come to see you, they want your expert advice and knowledge on how best to cure their ailments.
When it comes to your financial health, you need to listen to the expert’s advice.
Find a financial advisor that you mesh well with and that is knowledgeable and helpful in creating a financial plan tailored to your needs.
Finally finishing your residency and forging forward with your medical career is exciting but don’t forget that to stay forging forward you need to strategize your financial future.
These seven tips can help you to achieve your most secure financial future.