*This is a guest article*
Something busy professionals often worry about is whether or not they are effectively managing their finances and while taking measures to find work-life balance is crucial, managing your financial status is too. There simply isn’t time to sit and create detailed expense sheets and budgets and often it means there are gaps where there shouldn’t be. Gaps like insurance and retirement plans. These are things that absolutely should be planned for and monitored but how? On a schedule where most days you barely have time to shower before you fall into bed. Whether you’re a doctor with your own practice and family, or whether you’re contracted to a hospital or firm, it doesn’t hurt to have some help with getting your ducks in a row. Here are some of the important ones to consider:
As a medical professional you know all too well the costs of falling ill. It is thus very important to ensure that you have excellent medical insurance to claim from in the event of an illness or an accident. Read the fine print carefully, especially the terms and conditions around claims and payouts. Be sure that you know which service providers your insurance is contracted to. In this case, a broker might be very useful as they can often negotiate for better terms.
Disability/Loss of Income Insurance
None of us wants to think of this but in the event of a serious accident or debilitating chronic illness, how will you survive? Stories of homeless and ill professionals abound. Sadly, this is something you have to think of yourself. There are many companies who provide disability insurance, some of whom specialise in physician’s disability insurance specifically for the medical professional. These usually pay out a lump sum and then monthly stipends in the event that you suffer any physical condition that prevents you from working.
Medical malpractice lawsuits are no joke and they are plentiful. While you might be a very conscientious practitioner anyone can make mistakes and it is important to protect yourself in the event that you do. In fact, some places require you to have liability insurance before you’re given a license to practice medicine. Again, looking for a broker might be useful as you can ask questions and get services tailored to your exact needs.
Retirement Plans / Investment
We can’t work forever. If you aren’t employed by a company who make pension or retirement policy contributions on your behalf, you have to think of that yourself. Getting a financial advisor would be best in this instance as they will have knowledge of who are the reputable investment companies and can also advise you on exactly the types of policies you will need and how to obtain and maintain them. Planning for your retirement is absolutely necessary for professionals in every industry.
Finally, the other major financial burden on a professional is tax. One almost needs a separate qualification to understand the ins and outs of taxes! Have a chartered accountant manage your books and budgets and also assist you with the submission of returns and forms required by the government. If you have to sort out your taxes annually, it would be wise to plan ahead and save monthly.
Thank you for reading.