Financial Preparedness, Retirement

A Roadmap for Women Physicians: Achieving Financial Preparedness

August 06, 2015

“What’s the difference between a 401K and a Roth 401K?”; “Is a 2% fee structure too high?”;  “I’m getting divorced, what is a concrete first step?”; How do I find a trusted financial advisor?” For the past several months, we have heard these and other questions from women physicians as we rolled out the 6 Traits of Financially Prepared Women Physicians. 

We published research, summaries and an on demand  30 minute webinar featuring Robin Robertson, CLU, a senior wealth strategist with Millennium Brokerage Group. * She provided professional advice to women physicians on suggested tools to get and stay on track for a healthy financial future.

“How do I get started?”
“What if I’m behind? What can I do?”

Here is Robin’s roadmap to financial preparedness – an 8 step process that represents the attitudes, commitment and specific steps a physician can take to get back on track if she finds herself behind where she’d like to be for a secure retirement:

Step 1.  Make your personal financial plan a priority.

  • Lack of time is the number one challenge for all physicians, but you will find the time to spend on it once you make it a priority. 

Step 2.  Get empowered with a professional financial advisor.

  • Everyone needs a coach.  Engage with a professional financial advisor you like and trust early in your career.
  • Research shows that physicians who work with an advisor feel ‘very confident’ or ‘confident’ that they are making the right personal financial decisions for their family.

Step 3.  Build a comprehensive plan – beyond debt repayment and money management.

  • Develop a ‘master’ plan that uses all of the numbers related to your full financial picture - this is the only way to really see if you are ‘on track.’
  • Include insurance and other strategies to help protect yourself and your family.

Step 4.  Plan for the unexpected during your working years. Evaluate your risks.

  • Life happens. Market fluctuations, illnesses, disability, etc. can cause significant unexpected expenses and income disruption.  If you understand your risks, you can make decisions on how to protect yourself. 

Step 5.  Ensure that your family’s security is handled – life and disability insurance, wills, directives.

  • Don’t delay if you have a family; it can be devastating for your loved ones if you don’t have protection in place should something happen to you.

Step 6.  If you’re behind in savings, your advisor can help you with strategies to get on track.

  • In short, your options are to spend less, save more, assume greater risk or retire later.
  • At age 50 or 60, take a serious look at savings, spending, debt service and tax strategies. Portfolio risk and expenses can also uncover ways to save more and spend less.

Step 7.  Revisit your master plan annually with your advisor and adjust it as your life changes.

  • Once you have a master plan, don’t leave it on the shelf. An annual review will keep you on track and moving forward - and help you make the right decisions. 

Step 8.  Stay active in your decision-making. 

  • Things change.  Stay involved.  Monitor your plan regularly - think of it as a ‘living, breathing assessment’ of your retirement readiness.

To hear more from Robin including the answers to the physicians’ questions included in this blog, listen to the  30-minute on-demand webinar: 6 Traits of Financially Prepared Women Physicians.

As always, we welcome your feedback.

Denise S. Friday, CLU
Vice President, Sales & Marketing, AMA Insurance
physiciansinfocus@amainsure.com

*Millennium Brokerage Group LLC is a vetted financial partner of AMA Insurance Agency, Inc.

This blog is published to provide general information regarding insurance and financial preparedness; it does not constitute tax, legal, or specific financial advice.

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