Where do you even begin? Unfortunately, most doctors have the attitude, “If I can only get through medical/dental school and residency, I’ll take care of my loans when I am making a lot of money.”
Despite all of the noise in the media, the markets have only experienced small overall negative returns this year. As of today, most of our long-term, diversified portfolios are only down about -1.0% since the beginning of the year. This is common for short-term market reports. We expect to continue to see choppy markets throughout the rest of the year.
Although most of our physicians are concerned about income taxes—estate taxes can be a much bigger burden. In fact, they can eat up almost 50% of an estate.
The good news: unlike income taxes, estate taxes are completely voluntary. There are things doctors can do to make sure your estate passes without any estate taxes.
For estate tax purposes, you may be richer than you think.
When I first started financial planning, we all had one basic assumption - push taxes into the future. The general thought was our clients would be in a much lower tax bracket for taking distributions from their retirement plans. About 13 years ago, I had an "aha moment". What if that assumption was false?
As a physician, your largest, most valuable asset is your ability to work and earn a good living. Out of all the risks you face as a physician that could derail your financial future, the one most likely to happen is being too sick or injured to practice medicine. That is why getting cost effective, income protection or disability insurance, while a doctor is young and healthy, is imperative.
Have you ever wondered about all the experts who help Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos and even Donald Trump manage their money? They have an insurance guru to oversee the risk management, an investment team to make sure their assets are working as hard as possible, an attorney to keep them on the straight and narrow, along with a savvy accountant to help them reduce their taxes and a financial advisor to coordinate all these folks and prepare for their future. It probably costs the very wealthy thousands of dollars per hour to get this kind of experienced, coordinated advice!
All of doctors dream of the day they will be financially independent—the day where practicing medicine is optional, not required. To plan for this day, we do extensive retirement planning for all of our clients and review it at every meeting.
Our plan for building wealth for our physicians follows this proven process: