Financial planning is mind-numbing, but when it comes to financial planning as a doctor, it’s a whole different story. Your financial requirements take a complete 360 turn as your practice expands.
You have financial demands, whether it’s starting your first practice or making a retirement plan. It’s completely different as compared to other professionals. And it also depends on whether you make a general practitioner’s salary or a specialist’s e.g. neurosurgeon salary.
Therefore, let’s find out how, as a doctor, you can easily plan your finances and what paths you need to take to stand out in your 60s.
Reasons Why Financial Planning Is Different for Doctors
Here are a few reasons why as a doctor, you have different financial needs:
1- Becoming A Doctor Is Expensive
As soon as you step out of medical school, you owe $140,000 or more on average, while the typical debt is $80,000, and you have little savings. Moreover, doctors have higher debt rates and start their jobs later than other professionals.
While you have a lot of earning potential, your working years will be over much sooner than the average person’s, so paying down debt should be a priority before you start putting money away for the future.
You should prioritize paying off your debt by starting with the highest interest rates loans like credit cards and personal loans, then moving on to the lower interest rate federal student loans where you can get a tax credit of up to 15%.
2- Think About Your Short-Term Goal
Like many young physicians, you might also have short-term and long-term financial aspirations, such as getting married, supporting your partner’s school or job, having children, or buying a property. Therefore, you should include these in a financial plan along with retirement and debt repayment.
Medical school debt plus a down payment might make it hard to buy a home, even with a high income. Along with this creating a family generally requires long absences from work for the doctor, their partner, or both, and not to forget years of expensive daycare.
Therefore, financial plans considering short-term goals can help you achieve your dreams. It typically requires finding the best method to make required trade-offs, including postponing aggressive debt reduction or retirement savings to save for a short-term objective.
3- Invest in Your Future
Doctors have human capital and can earn a lot over time. To fund their retirement lifestyle, they must convert their revenue into financial capital. Most retirees want to maintain their quality of life, and most physicians have become accustomed to a comfortable lifestyle.
Therefore, investing a portion of your salary every year will help you maintain your lifestyle in retirement. While saving is critical, spreading your funds over multiple accounts and crossing your fingers is not viable.
Investing earns a bigger return than a savings account. That requires knowing your risk tolerance, investing in a diverse mix of bonds and stocks, adding to your portfolio periodically, and adhering to your strategy.
No matter where you are, financial planning may help you make the most informed decisions about your money, set and achieve meaningful objectives, and secure your financial future. Therefore, as a doctor, you must manage your finances and develop a financial plan considering your specific needs and goals.
I have an MBA in Financial Management.
With 5+ years of experience in the finance industry, I am passionate about topics such as budgeting, investing, insurance, credit, and taxes.
Hobbies: Meditation, and painting.