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.
Why financial preparedness starts with a plan
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.
How to proactively execute your plan
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.
Explore more on planning and retirement
- Check out Robin Robertson’s 5 tips for partnering with a physician-friendly financial advisor.
- Read these top personal finance insights from experienced physicians.
- Find out whether you have the 6 traits of a financially prepared physician.
- Review benefits available through AMA Insurance on retirement and legacy planning.