Welcome to Financial Planning for General Practice Registrars. I hope we meet your expectations and our manual is the start of a life-long financial plan that ensures you get the most out of your career and your life.
Congratulations on choosing medicine as a career. It is a good choice. Medicine is the most financially rewarding profession. Doctors, on average, earn more than all other professions. Doctors’ incomes are more stable and secure than all other professions. There are no unemployed doctors. Doctors earn for longer too. There is no pre-determined use by date. A doctor can keep earning a high income, on a part time or full time basis, well past the average retirement age of 50 for women and 58 for men, and well past the “statutory” retirement age of 65. We have many clients well into their seventies working half time and loving it. This may seem a bit remote, even daunting, if you are still in your twenties or early thirties. But it may give some perspective to your contemporary decisions. Medicine is a long-term career.
Medicine can be a family friendly profession if you want it to be. You may not have noticed this yet, but virtually every doctor can choose to work less than full time and still earn a very high income if he or she really wants to. And more and more doctors are doing this. We have hundreds of clients in their mid-thirties who have prioritised their child care years and are happy to work, say, six sessions a week and have plenty of time for their kids and each other. Medicine is the only occupation where this can be done, virtually as of right, and you can still earn $150,000 a year, or three times the national average for a fifty year old male, in just three days a week.
It is interesting, but there is only a low correlation between doctors’ income levels and wealth accumulation. We have doctors earning $1,000,000 a year with no significant assets, and we have doctors earning much less who have invested well and are multi-millionaires. This is because some doctors spend a lot, and other doctors invest a lot and started investing early. Income does not determine wealth. Sure it helps. But you do not have to work seventy hours a week to become wealthy.
Medicine is a career where you can have “It” all. By “It” we mean plenty of time for family, friend and non-work interests, satisfying work and a high sense of personal well being as well as enjoying a safe and secured high income, and a high level of wealth accumulation.
This manual explains how you can have “It”. There is no elusive “Secret”. Financial planning for young GPs is actually quite straightforward. By starting some simple common sense strategies as soon as possible you can make sure the financial side of things is maximised, almost automatically, and you are able to do all the other things you want to do.
Never forget the four basic rules:
- keep it simple;
- never trust anyone with your money;
- never give up control; and
- never invest in anything that pays anyone a commission.
Follow these four rules and you will probably end up quite wealthy.