We all have things we want to accomplish in life. If you’re like most, you’ve spent some time thinking about these things. Initially, it’s as simple as deciding on what area of medicine you want to practice. Beyond that, it usually consists of putting together a more detailed list of the things you want to accomplish, a list of the goals you have.
As a physician, you’ve spent countless hours preparing and training for your profession. A lot of times, the idea of taking care of the financial essentials can seem a bit overwhelming. Whether it’s making sure the contract you’re offered is fair and equitable or getting the adequate amount of disability insurance, each one of these things, along with funding any other goal for that matter, can feel like just another item to take care of and one more thing you can check off your list.
I would suggest however, there’s a better way to approach these things and all your goals for that matter, so you don’t sell yourself short.Usually, there are some common goals that doctors have; these consist of paying down your student loans, being able to travel throughout the year, buying a new house, education funding for the kids, getting that car you’ve always wanted, having enough savings, reducing your taxes, being able to retire when you want and leaving a legacy to name a few. Thinking of each one of these things as isolated from one another can be a recipe for confusion and disaster. Why, because the one common denominator tying all of these things together that cannot be ignored, is you, and your loved ones. All of these things, these goals that you have, are really a snapshot of what’s important to you and they all take money to fund and they cannot be looked at as isolate to do items. I use the analogy of a set of interlocking gears to explain this. Each one of your goals is like a gear in a line of interlocking gears – each goal is connected to one another. If you turn one, they all turn. Likewise, if you make a financial decision not knowing the impact it may have on other goals that are important to you, you may be working against yourself, not even knowing it.
So, why do you need a financial planner? The reason can really be summed up in one word – clarity. By working with an advisor to create a personalized financial plan, you’re positioning yourself to have the information you need in all areas of your financial life, so there’s no guessing, there shouldn’t be any guessing, there doesn’t have to be. You’ll be empowered to pay off debt while building savings so that an unexpected expense has less of a chance of prolonging your debt free date. You’ll know the steps to take to be in the position to work because you want to and not because you have to when you’re ready to retire. You’ll have the potential to have less stress when it comes to money because you’ll know you’re taking a holistic approach to all things financial and you’ll know the strategies you’re using are the appropriate ones for your situation and phase in life. Lastly, you’ll feel confident that the hard work you’ve put into your career and the income you’re earning is being put to the best use to fund the things that are important to you because you have a plan and strategies designed specifically for you and your needs.
Another benefit of having a financial plan is that it creates inertia and motivation. As time goes on and you review your plan with your financial planner, you’ll be able to see the progress you’ve made. This progress makes it so much easier to stay the course and can actually help you become more focused on accomplishing your goals with your financial planner.
Throughout the financial planning process, our focus is always on education. We want to make sure that you have a clear understanding of the appropriate strategies available for each one of your goals. You’ve heard the saying, “knowledge is power”, I would suggest that knowledge alone is not power, it’s simply knowledge and unless the new information learned is put to use, no real change has occurred. Working with an advisor to create a financial plan provides for both, the knowledge and information you need and the appropriate steps to take to make your goals a reality.