Practicing medicine provides the great privileges of helping others, saving lives, and enjoying a rewarding career. This can often leave little time to focus on your own financial priorities. Each physician family has its own unique circumstances and goals. It’s important to create a plan that allows for a balance between today’s lifestyle needs and tomorrow’s financial independence. By achieving financial independence, you can choose how, when, and where you continue your career. This freedom is liberating and helps you to enjoy your work longer and savor the journey more.
Physician wealth planning should include these areas of importance:
- Career stage advice. As your career transitions from early to mid to late career, so do your financial planning needs. It’s essential that you plan for each dollar you earn, determine how to achieve your goals, grow your wealth, and protect it throughout your career.
- Debt management. Physicians often graduate from training with significant debt, and banks are willing to lend even more money to them. Build a debt management plan that balances your personal debt tolerance, current interest rates, potential rate of return on investments, and your timeline. There is no right or wrong plan; it always depends on your individualized situation.
- A team approach. Just like patient-centered, team-based care can improve the patient experience and outcome, your wealth management plan can benefit from a similar approach. This includes working with a wealth management team with a process designed specifically for physicians. This team should include a financial planner, a portfolio manager, a CPA, an estate planning attorney, an insurance broker, and others as needed. Each specialized member of the team coordinates their recommendations to help achieve the most appropriate strategies for your unique plan.
- Investment management. Use a disciplined process for managing your money. Using your unique goals, preference for return versus risk, and your time horizon, your portfolio should be individualized for your plan and based on your goals. Tax mitigation strategies should be included to help achieve improved after-tax returns.
- Unbiased insurance evaluation. There are many different types of insurance, and understanding which ones are necessary, how much is needed, and what types of policies to purchase are important in protecting your financial future. Use an advisor whose compensation isn’t dependent on how much insurance you purchase. This can help provide unbiased advice based on your specific needs.
- Tax planning. As tax laws and career stages change, work closely with your team to balance planning and investment strategies with tax implications to help you avoid paying more taxes than necessary.
- Implementation. This is the most important step in the financial planning process; it’s where you can achieve results. Your advisor should work alongside you to help implement your plan, and you’re more likely to act on a plan based on what’s most important to you.
Once you and your advisory team have crafted an ideal plan based on your priorities, you can enjoy the career you’ve worked so hard to achieve and continue making an impact in your career and personal endeavors. Using your goals as our guide, we can help you make smart choices about your money. This can help you spend more time focusing on what’s most important: simplifying your life and balancing your long-term goals with your desire to live a full, rich life today.
Let us know if we can help you get started or provide a second opinion on your plan. For assistance, please reach out to a professional at FORVIS or submit the Contact Us form below.