As an Attending Physician who has transitioned into practice, you may be stressed, wondering if you are on track to meet your financial goals. You are asking yourself, colleagues, or family how to organize your finances and what you should do with your money.
On the evening of April 3rd, 2019, Spaugh Dameron Tenny will be hosting a panel of distinguished leaders who will address the convergence of financial wellness and leadership in the medical industry. The panelists will touch on the six money decisions for physicians & how they affect taxes, surgery center buy-ins, college planning, moonlighting, and stress.
In preparation for the Financial Vital Signs for Surgeons event, I'm interviewing each of the panelists to gather their thoughts on the importance of financial wellness for physician leaders. This week I'm chatting with Dr. Sanjiv Lakhia.
Dr. Lakhia is board certified in Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation. He completed his residency at the Charlotte Institute of Rehabilitation and an osteopathic rotating internship at Northside Hospital and Heart Institute. Dr. Lakhia is a graduate of the Ohio University College of Osteopathic Medicine and earned a Chemical Engineering degree from the University of Dayton.
I think there are several factors that contribute to this. A majority of physicians literally jump into the “1%” income bracket overnight transitioning from a resident’s salary to that of a practicing clinician. Unfortunately, at least while I was in training, very little education is provided to young docs on how to develop financial literacy and more importantly, financial discrimination. Society holds physicians up to a certain wealth standard and expectation that can be unrealistic to maintain. If not careful, physicians can quickly find themselves living a glamorous, expensive lifestyle with little room left over to cultivate appropriate levels of retirement savings. Stress can quickly mount to meet very high production standards at work in efforts to maintain a standard of living that is hard to pull back from. Interviewing and retaining a qualified CFP from the very beginning of one’s career is a critically important, strategic move to help physicians navigate the challenges of wealth creation.
My best move has been marrying a CPA! Second best move was making a
decision to work with a qualified financial team. Additionally, simple things like maintaining good records for business expenses and having strategy sessions with our advisors on how to take advantage of ever changing tax rules has served us well. We have also kept our investments simple and tend to shy away from “exciting” investment opportunities that can’t be easily understood.
I think defining your priorities prior to seeking employment is critical. Job security with predictable income can typically be found in a hospital employment role. Joining an independent practice can at times be more lucrative but comes with more uncertainty. Beyond compensation there are also many factors to consider such as call, vacation time, location and company culture. I strongly encourage new physicians to interview at several places to get a taste for what is available on the market. Additionally, all contract offers should be reviewed by a competent attorney prior to signing. Always know your exit terms prior to joining a new group.
Very simply, we set priorities and have created a budget to help us achieve our goals and honor these priorities. We have built in a reasonable amount of spending to help us enjoy the fruits of our labor without sacrificing our future.
If you wish to improve your happiness at work, lower self-imposed financial burdens. If you are meeting budget at home then you lower the temptation to allow financial factors to cloud your clinical decision making. Create a lifestyle that emphasizes saving, health, and creating meaningful memories over the attainment of material riches. Remember, giving to others is the only investment in life with a guaranteed rate of return, the rest is speculation!
To register for the event, click or tap the image below!
White Coat Wellness podcast producer and Marketing Director of Spaugh Dameron Tenny. Molly is passionate about connecting with people, digital marketing, and serving her community. Reach out to her if you have blog topic or podcast ideas.
For over 50 years, Spaugh Dameron Tenny has provided comprehensive financial planning for physicians and dentists in Charlotte, NC. In addition to providing personalized advice, we walk our clients through their options to help maximize finances and maintain financial security.
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