Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Financial Wellness?

Do you know how social security works? Are you maximizing contributions to your retirement accounts? Have you ever heard of a 529 account, or a backdoor Roth IRA?

I combed the archives of this blog, and while there are a smattering of posts on money and costs of being in the field of medicine, I didn't see much about money management and financial planning. It's not a topic people commonly like to discuss, and yet it's so important to our overall well being. Physicians are notoriously horrible at managing money, and yet many in our profession shoulder a huge debt burden, one that can amount to hundreds of thousands of dollars by the time all the training is over. And at that point, the last thing most people want to do is continue "living like a resident", so they commence with lifestyle inflation and remedies for their delayed gratification.

                             

Last weekend I had the pleasure and opportunity to attend the first Physician Wellness and Financial Literacy Conference, aka the White Coat Investor Conference. It took place in beautiful Park City, UT with two days of CME talks, broken up by mid-day skiing time. The conference featured valuable information presented by physician experts in the areas of finance, financial independence, and burnout, along with some financial professionals (who did not have an interest in charging huge fees to physicians for their services, an issue common to many physician-targeted financial advisors). There was even a talk by one of the only female physician financial bloggers, Miss Bonnie MD, who also happens to run the very active informational goldmine Women Physicians Personal Finance Facebook group.

On day two of the conference, I represented both PracticeBalance.com and Mothers in Medicine on a panel of six bloggers for a Q&A session. Despite being the only blogger there who does not primarily blog about finance, it was a lively discussion with lots of inquisitive attendees. It left me with inspiration to blog more, and blog more about financial issues that I deal with!



Over the course of the weekend, I met so many inspiring people - especially women - who are taking control of their finances so as to not become an "underwater doctor" statistic. We often say in my household that debt = slavery, and that sense of lost control is what often leads to burnout for many professionals. While debt is for most people unavoidable on some level during medical training, we physicians have the power to manage it and at the same time plan sensibly for the future. I felt so much more empowered after attending this conference, and I highly recommend that you all check it out the next time it comes around. At the very least, take a look at the blogs (linked above) by the White Coat Investor, Physician on Fire, and Miss Bonnie MD. They are a great starting point on the path to proactively managing your money.

3 comments:

  1. Yes! A post on finance, a topic that only about 4 months ago, I was completely in the dark about. But then reading the Solitary Diner blog got me connected the White Coat Investor blog which got me connected to the boglehead forum which got me reading the Bogleheads Guide to Investing and White Coat's book which allowed me to look at (and understand) my husband's 401K and discovered he had been investing in managed mutual funds and paying a ton of fees. I had been avoiding learning about finance because it was such a dry topic but as White Coat said in his book, we got through renal physiology/metabolic diseases in med school, why not learn about finance to enable a comfortable retirement and having options when one is burned out. Thanks for bringing this up PracticeBalance! I'm so thankful for fellow docs blogging about finance and helping me learn.

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    1. Excellent! I'm so glad you found those resources and are working to proactively optimize your finances! After the conference I'm inspired to write about money and finance on my own blog, more in the context of stress reduction and wellness, so look for that in the future!

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  2. Very refreshing to read. All primary care physicians or Internal Medicine Doctor really need this kind of information. In the medical world, Doctors needs a guidance also specially on finances. Who does not anyway?

    -Houston Concierge Medicine & Wellness Center

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