I recently had the opportunity to submit a guest post to the blog of an emergency physician, Ilene Brenner, who also happens to be the author of a new book How to Survive a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit: The physician’s road map for success. Hopefully I’ll get through the book soon so I can review it, as she also sent me a copy to share with readers. Thus far it looks great. At any rate, I helped her out with figuring out a backdoor Roth by email recently and she invited me to submit a guest post to her blog. At the time I wrote it, I had just gotten excited about the fact that a new Terminator movie was going to be coming out soon, so I took the title from a frequently used line in that series. At any rate, it’s a post designed to help doctors get excited about taking control of their financial lives. I hope you enjoy it. Here is an excerpt:
Hi there, this is a guest post on the important subject of Doctor Finances. It is by the writer of a fantastic website The White Coat Investor. The advice, while geared towards MDs is really great for anyone who wants great advice on investing.
Come With Me If You Want To Live!
The Terminator science fiction franchise was perhaps best known for the famous Arnold Schwarzenegger phrase “I’ll be back.” However, another common phrase is used in each of the movies as the protagonists meet for the first time- “Come with me if you want to live!” Sometimes I feel like screaming that line to doctors that I see doing stupid things with their money. Sure, it’s dramatic, and I’m not going to save anybody’s life by providing a few personal finance and investing tips, but it really irks me to see wonderful people who have dedicated their lives to healing the sick and injured get taken advantage of repeatedly. Doctors have a terrible reputation for mismanaging their finances. There are several reasons why.
First, like athletes and artists, their high income is due to a particular talent, skill, or highly specialized knowledge rather than their business acumen. By the time a small business owner has an income similar to that of a doctor, he has become very familiar with the business world and its pitfalls. Not so for the doctor. He may be over 30 years old and never had a real job prior to being thrust into a top 5%, or perhaps even 1%, income….
So, what is the solution? How do I help people to “live” financially if they do choose to “come with me?” Medical school is rapidly becoming more expensive. Student loans are no longer subsidized, and low interest student loans are a thing of the past. The average student loan debt is now over $200,000, and $400-500K in student loan debt for a single doctor is no longer unusual. Physicians are losing autonomy and for many specialties, incomes are falling, even without taking inflation into account. However, by optimizing their personal finances and investing, doctors can still enjoy the “good life” and obtain financial independence, that will allow them to practice medicine and live their lives in the way they choose to, rather than being a slave to their debts, their employers, and their own bad financial decisions.
Read the rest here, then come back and let me know what you think. Why do you think docs are so terrible at managing money? How can we help our colleagues who are financially clueless? Which Terminator movie was the best? Comment below!