In the early stages of your career, we help as you transition into practice to establish short-term goals, including cash flow analysis, home purchases, student loan repayment strategies, protection needs, and more.
As your financial situation grows and develops, we establish a solid foundation through goals such as insurance planning, investment strategies, employer benefits, retirement projections, and college funding.
When your financial scenario becomes more complex, we take a comprehensive approach to incorporate more advanced financial strategies.
As you look ahead at retirement, we help you create a sound strategy for lifetime income. Some want help balancing their income needs, tax liability, and concerns about the future. Many begin to think about their legacy and their impact on family and the community around them.
For owners and partners managing their own practice, we can provide additional services and advice to help them maximize the wealth potential.
From start to finish our financial planning process typically takes 6-8 weeks depending on scheduling availability.
Understand Your Questions Call: Before establishing our ongoing relationship, we want to ensure that SDT is the right fit for your needs. Through a casual conversation, we will ask you questions and help answer your questions to see what next steps are most appropriate. If financial planning seems to be the right fit, we will schedule a Goal Setting and Data Gathering meeting.
Goal Setting & Data Gathering Meeting: During this meeting, we want to hear about the things that are important to you and that you wish to achieve both personally and financially. We also want to hear about the things that keep you up at night. Then, assuming you are well positioned financially and ready to engage, we will send you our formal engagement for signature and begin the process of creating your financial plan.
Data Confirmation Call: We will provide a detailed checklist of information to upload that will help us to begin analyzing your financial plan. Next, we collect your documents, create an inventory, and review your information to ensure no stones are left unturned. Then, through a follow-up phone call, we will ask new questions based on our review to ensure we understand the what and the why of your past financial decisions.
Review of Findings Call: After analyzing your information and outlining our recommendations, we want to confirm we are on the same page and help set our agenda for the strategy meeting. At this stage, we will give you a high-level overview of the analysis to use your time most efficiently during the strategy meeting.
Strategy Meeting: During this meeting, we will start by reviewing the financial plan reports on topics such as Net Worth, Cash Flow, Taxes, Protection Planning, College Planning, Retirement Planning, and Estate Planning. By the end of the meeting, we will assign action steps for you and for us to start putting your plan into action. Because of the amount of information being reviewed, this meeting is often diluted into two separate sessions.
Status Check-In Meeting: Since the strategy meeting can easily create dozens of action steps for you and us, it is helpful to regroup six to eight weeks after the strategy meeting. During this meeting, we will gather updates from our last meeting, list out any unfinished items, and provide you with a brief tutorial of our online client portal.
Progress Meeting: At least annually, we will collect updated information from you to chart the progress you have made. In addition, we will review your goals, make updates, incorporate external changes (e.g., tax laws, investment markets) and make recommendations to help you stay on track for what is most important to you.
Your financial x-ray is a look at every financial decision you’ve made – good or bad, right or wrong. It’s a financial overview that shows you what you own, what you owe. The difference between the two is considered your net worth.
Many physicians and dentists in training have a negative net worth due to student loans - this is typical and shouldn’t discourage you. The main reason to start understanding your net worth now is to see how it increases or decreases over the years. You can positively affect your Financial X-Ray by either saving money (adding assets) or paying down debt (decreasing liabilities).
It’s important to develop a budget early on as part of a strong financial foundation to increase your awareness of where your money is going and how much you are saving. It’s a common misconception that budgeting gets easier when you have more money. You've heard it: “Mo’ money, mo’ problems.”
A budget will help you develop habits of saving, even if just $20 a month at the beginning. Which is all a part of knowing your cash flow. No matter where you are in your career, your cash flow is key.
Protect your practice and those who matter most with an insurance plan that covers your needs. With most of your education behind you and a future full of potential earnings ahead of you, you need a plan to protect your future income.
We suggest a Detailed Needs Analysis (DNA) to assess these different types of protection to create a solid defensive plan: Disability income insurance; Life insurance; Personal liability like auto insurance, homeowners insurance, malpractice insurance, and health insurance.
Your Offensive Investment Plan consists of planning for your cash needs in the future. Depending on your stage of life, your offensive planning needs will vary. While in training, it is often best to focus on your short term goals. After you’ve completed training, it will be important for you to work towards medium-term goals (paying off student loans, purchase new car, kids education, etc), then reaching your long-term goals (retirement, dream vacation).
Once you have established your short-term, medium-term, and long-term goals, create a funding strategy. Establish a retirement distribution strategy, determine long-term retirement objectives, make key distribution decisions, calculate social security benefits, and navigate plan adjustments before retirement.
The easiest way to manage debt is to stay out of it, but that’s not always an option for residents and fellows. More than likely your current debt, although it may seem high, is probably at its lowest point. If you have $200,000 in student loan debt, but no mortgage, your debts are lower now than they will be if you eventually buy a home.
Considering questions like these can help you take control of your money: What is the best option to pay off your student loans? How much house can you afford? How much car can you afford? Understanding debt management now is important for putting yourself in the best position as you acquire more debt and create a plan for paying it off.
Ready to expand your financial knowledge? Our team of experts has compiled a library full of resources hand-selected to help you navigate some of the most important life decisions you will ever make. Here you will find blogs covering the latest pro-tips and financial trends, podcasts addressing common financial concerns in the medical industry, how-to videos, and more.
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