As you take this time in residency to advance your clinical skills, you should also consider taking these key steps to help secure your financial future.
#1. Protect your income
You have a significant potential income stream when you consider the years of practice you have ahead of you. Your ability to earn an income is your most important asset. The risk to that income, to your financial future, is disability and death. Securing an adequate amount of disability and life insurance now is key.
Disability insurance protects your ability to earn an income. You should consider purchasing resident disability insurance as a supplement to the coverage you receive at work. You want disability insurance that’s portable and protects your medical specialty, not just your ability to practice as a physician. Understanding the different types of physician disability insurance coverage available to residents is important.
Life insurance is important if you have someone who depends on your income. In addition to the loss of your income, your family may be left with any student loan debt that cannot be discharged. Term life insurance offers an affordable solution for residents to help provide financial protection for your family. Educating yourself about life insurance coverage options will help your physician family choose coverage that meets your particular life insurance goals.
#2. Manage your debt
It’s important to develop a plan for how and when you are going to pay off your medical student debt. Establish a goal for yourself. Understand your debt and prioritize payment based on the options available to you. Not all debt is alike and your plan for repayment should reflect your overall goals. You can find resources through the American Medical Association to help you navigate this issue.
#3. Partner with a trusted source for insurance
There are any number of resources for insurance, but how many of them truly specialize in solutions for physicians? The unique character of your career path, years of training, and financial investment require more than off-the-shelf products and services. Tailored physician focused insurance solutions are what you need throughout your medical career, and most importantly while you are training and in the early years of practice. Finding an insurance specialist with physician targeted expertise is an important resource for your professional and personal journey.
#4. Find a financial advisor
Even with a modest salary and high debt, you should be taking steps to establish strong financial habits. A financial advisor, who understands the economics of a resident physician may help you focus your financial goals, help you pay off credit cards and medical student debt, build an emergency fund, and establish a retirement plan. A good financial professional will be someone you can trust, who will help you to understand their recommendations so you can be an active participant in the decisions made.