Five Benefits Financial Planners Provide a Physician
As a physician, you are a well-educated person who can solve most problems. You might ask yourself, “What value can a financial planner bring to my busy life? Or what can you do for me?” Below we will discuss the five benefits financial planners provide a physician.
Having a financial planner is crucial for setting and keeping you on the right financial course to make the correct decisions about your finances.
Being a physician has a lot of financial decisions, from paying down student loan debt to investing in your future so you can retire on time.
You must develop a holistic financial plan, regardless of your life stage. You can be a budget novice or an investment guru. Both need a solid financial plan and a guide to keep you on the right path.
What is the Value of Financial Planning
Financial planning is not a tangible object you can take out, study, and enjoy. It is a behavior that you exhibit in everyday life. Since it is not physical, that makes the value a bit opaque. You choose how to spend and invest your money. However, the difference between doing this well and poorly can cause your finances to thrive or fail.
Worthy financial planners are not salesmen pushing products or taking commissions from their clients. They listen to their client’s values and goals and strive to meet them. Financial planners work collaboratively in a true partnership discussing all avenues of finance such as saving, giving, investments, debt, insurance, taxes, and estate planning.
How Financial Planners Can Help Physicians
It does not matter if you are a resident or a physician of thirty-plus years; each person can benefit from the actual value a financial planner can create for you.
Physicians usually have high incomes, high debt loads, and a high-stress job environment. All are unique circumstances related to the field of medicine. However, financial planners can alleviate the pains from the financial side a physician experiences.
Below are five intangible ways that financial planners help physicians:
1. Organizing Your Goals
Financial planning has many aspects, and understanding your goals is vital to your future success. Most people think a financial planner organizes your investments and then sends you down the road with annual checkups. As this is valuable, it is only the tip of the iceberg. We ask A LOT of questions!
- Do you have a budget?
- Are you actively saving monthly?
- How much do you have in savings for an emergency?
- What are your debts?
- What are you invested in?
- Do you want to buy a home?
- Are you paying too much in taxes?
- When would you like to retire?
- What do you want to do after retirement?
- Do you have beneficiaries set up?
It can be daunting to find answers to all of these questions. Maybe you do not know your goals. A quality financial planner will ask the tough questions and walk you through the pros and cons of different decisions.
2. A True Partnership
Financial stress is a headache for everyone. It impacts not only your personal life but bleeds into your professional life. Some familiar sources of financial stress include:
- Cash flow issues
- High debt levels
- Low savings
- Stock market volatility
- Limited emergency fund
- Uncertainty of the future
- High taxes
Financial decisions are never easy. They can cause a lot of bickering and head trash. It is always valuable to have someone you can call and discuss these issues with and let them hear your concerns. Competent financial planners are a part of your team and will act as a neutral third party who will listen to your sources of stress.
Below is an article from the American Medical Association talking about how physicians can partner with financial planners.
3. Ongoing Guidance
After receiving a financial plan from a financial planner, how fast does it expire? The answer is in a relatively short time. Many variables are unknown in the future, whether it is job security, laws, investment rules, or emergencies that happen in life. Details like this change, and so should your financial plan.
Our ongoing clients receive quarterly meetings where we discuss new and ongoing financial details in their life. Clients can always schedule a meeting outside these time frames when an urgent financial decision arises, or they have a general question about something they read. Some common topics we cover include:
- Any significant life changes, like marriage, children, new career opportunities, or a significant move
- Changes to finances, like a job loss or inheritance
- Changes in the markets or tax code
- Updates to student loan rules
Life happens, and plans change, so your financial plan should also change. Helpful financial planners make it easy to pivot no matter what changes come at you in life.
You are a physician. You are busy. Whether it’s children running around the house or working after you get home, your life is hectic. These things happen and dealing with your finances takes a back seat.
Let’s be honest – when planning family vacations, seeing family or friends, or working late hours, checking your investment accounts for beneficiaries seems like a trivial task.
Your financial planner keeps you on track by asking you when goals get accomplished and how they can help to alleviate any roadblocks. We take copious notes of our discussions, so we pick up where we left off the next time we meet.
Accountability can come in many shapes and sizes. Knowing you can lean on a trusted partner is also empowering. Financial planners keep you on track to accomplish your financial goals. We win when you win!
Our firm works with some of the most intelligent minds in medicine. Most of our clients are experts in their fields, much brighter than we are. However, we still have an edge when it comes to personal finance. As stated above, the most brilliant physicians may not have the time or inclination to become an expert in financial matters, which is why we’re here to help.
There are many “financial advisors” in the world. Some want to sell you products. Others want to make commissions from investment sales. In this tough market of whom to trust, it is good to have a trustworthy expert as a sounding board to listen to your ideas and bounce ideas off. Getting expert advice before a personal finance issue gets out of hand is always a good idea. Especially in cases when you do not know what the next step is.
Anyone can get on Google and find twenty different answers to their problem. However, implementing the correct one accurately and understanding why is where a financial planner comes in. We listen to your situation, weigh all options, and help determine your best path. Having peace of mind that someone is in your corner goes beyond financial peace of mind.
Why a Financial Planner
There are many benefits to working with a financial planner. They give you intangible benefits allowing you to live a better life – from listening to your concerns, organizing your goals, holding you accountable, and giving unbiased, expert advice. The most significant benefit is giving you time to do other essential things in your life like traveling and seeing family and friends. Choosing an experienced financial planner is difficult for a physician since it takes time to find a quality one. But, having one on your team who is always an email, text, or phone call away can benefit your mental, physical, and spiritual life.
About The Author
Jordan Benold, CFP® provides fee-only financial planning and investment management services in Frisco, TX. Benold Financial Planning serves clients as a fiduciary and never earns a commission or sells a product. Jordan has over three years of experience as a financial advisor in Frisco.