Career Development

How to kick your financial plan into high gear


Developing the traits of a financially prepared physician requires more than balancing a checkbook. You need to proactively plan. Here’s what to do—follow these expert tips to boost your financial IQ and plot a successful path to retirement.

People tend to think that age, specialty and experience can predict whether physicians will be financially prepared. But physicians’ attitudes and dedication to developing a strong financial plan can have a greater impact on their success, according to a recent webinar from AMA Insurance.  

That’s why Robin Robertson, a senior wealth advisor for the Millennium Brokerage Group, urges physicians to plot their own paths to prosperity by developing a sound financial plan.

Robertson said physicians often contact her, requesting one tell-all figure to let them know their portfolio is progressing as planned. But invariably, she tells them to look beyond basic digits and first consult their financial plan. Only a comprehensive analysis can let them know where they really stand on the path to retirement.

“Your plan should be comprehensive [and include] savings, spending, future goals and a risk assessment for disability, life insurance and long term care …. What you don’t want is a pretty binder that sits on a shelf and does not create an action plan,” Robertson said. 

“You want to think of your [financial] plan as a living, breathing assessment that needs to be monitored regularly,” she said, adding that the earlier physicians review their earnings and financial plans, the better. 

Once you create a plan, Robertson recommends you take certain precautions to ensure it succeeds. These include:

  • Making personal financial planning a priority.
  • Becoming empowered by partnering with a professional advisor.
  • Building a comprehensive plan beyond debt repayment and money management.
  • Planning for unexpected emergencies during your working years. Evaluate your risks in each emergency, so you can make decisions about how to financially protect yourself.
  • Getting your family security items handled: Be prepared for life emergencies, disability, will and directives. Don’t delay this step, especially if you have a family.
  • Consulting your advisor if you’re behind on your financial roadmap. They’ll willingly help you build a plan to get back on track.
  • Revisiting your master plan annually and adjusting it as your life changes.
  • Staying active in your decision making.