I was invited to submit a guest post on the Sermo blog. So many of the posts on Sermo seem so pessimistic to me sometimes. They are full of whining, complaining, fretting, and venting etc. I don’t know if that’s the nature of docs, the nature of anonymous internet forums, or whether people are just blowing off steam, but I thought I’d write a post that might help offset some of that pessimism. I have a few excerpts here, or go to the original post and read the whole thing.
I have a noticed a persistent and pervasive pessimism among physicians when they are talking amongst themselves, whether in a doctor’s lounge or on a virtual forum such as SERMO. One of the best antidotes I have found to feeling pessimistic about the future is the optimization of a doctor’s personal financial situation….
# 1 Retire Student Loans
I have found physicians who still owe money for their educations to be particularly unhappy about their financial situation. Although many of these physicians are young, a surprising number of those who still have a substantial student loan burden are ten or even twenty years out of residency. There are two basic strategies for eliminating student loans—obtain forgiveness or pay them off….
# 2 Have a Definitive Plan for Retirement
It is important for physicians to have a spending plan (aka budget), an insurance plan, an estate plan, an asset protection plan, and an investing plan. When it comes to making physicians happier, nothing compares to have a realistic plan laid out for retirement. Some physicians have the knowledge, desire, and temperament required to do this themselves, but most will need to enlist the assistance of a competent, low-cost advisor to complete this task….
In my experience, the typical physician is paying too much in insurance premiums, too much in taxes, too much in mortgage-related costs and too much in financial advisory costs. The sum of these often totals tens of thousands of dollars per year. By redirecting this wasted money toward a retirement portfolio, financial independence can be reached years earlier…..
# 4 Spend Your Money on What Makes You Happy
We each value different things in our lives. One doctor may value early financial independence while others may value flashy cars, nice clothing, eating out frequently, or expensive vacations. Each time you consider a purchase, evaluate it in terms of how much happiness it brings you. If you are like most, you may realize you are spending a considerable percentage of your income for goods and services that are not increasing your happiness….
Read the rest here then come back and leave a comment. What do you think? Are doctors too pessimistic? Do you think they would be less pessimistic if they were financially independent? Comment below!