The Medical Resident’s Blueprint to Gaining Financial Freedom
Many physicians fail to attain true financial freedom. Don’t be one of them! The best time to start working towards this goal is during your residency. Here are some simple steps to take as a resident:
01. UTILIZE YOUR EMPLOYER RETIREMENT PLAN
Are you aware that you could have a customized risk adjusted portfolio on these monies at no direct cost to you? Additionally, some plans provide match contributions which is “free” money. A thorough review of this item is quite valuable.
02. PROTECT YOUR INCOME
Losing your future income is arguably the single greatest risk you face. AcquiringOwn Occupation disability insurance PRIOR to completion of training is critical for myriad reasons including significant premium discounts available with multi-life & gender neutral rates. What if you can’t afford it? For $30 – $35 per month you could implement $1,000 in monthly disability benefit with the ability to increase your benefit to $15,000 monthly benefit in the future without having to go back through the underwriting process.
03. BUILD YOUR TAX FREE BUCKET
While in training, your income allows you to direct contributions to a Roth IRA. Once beginning your career, your income will likely preclude you from direct contributions to aRoth IRA; it is wise to maximize this if and while you can. Evaluate conversion of your EmployerSponsored Retirement plan to a Roth IRA in the year you complete training*.
04. DEVELOP A DEBT ELIMINATION PLAN
Integrate Emotional Sensitivity and Financial Sensibility such that you are aware of all your options, including loan consolidation and loan forgiveness programs. With informed guidance and an educated and disciplined approach, a debt elimination plan can help you achieve your goals more quickly.
05. BUILD YOUR FINANCIAL MASTERMIND TEAM
Along with getting married, buying a home and having kids, selecting your job is one of the most important decisions you will make. Having an attorney specializing in contract review protects you. During your surgical education, attendings from a variety of surgical specialties help you master the skills and knowledge you need to succeed. Your finances should be no different. Start to build your team of trusted financial advisors, accountants and attorneys today.
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*To qualify for the tax-free and penalty-free withdrawal of earnings, a Roth IRA must be in place for at least five tax years, and the distribution must take place after age 59 ½ or due to death, disability, or a first-time home purchase ($10,000 lifetime maximum). Depending on state law, Roth IRA distributions may be subject to state taxes.
Eligibility to contribute to a Roth IRA phases out a higher modified adjusted gross income level. IF ELIGIBLE, you can withdraw all or part of your Traditional IRA, and roll it over into a Roth IRA. You will owe taxes on the portion of the conversion that represents the earnings and the contributions distributed from the Traditional IRA that were not previously taxed. The amount you convert will be taxable in the year the rollover is made.