Financial Flexibility

Smart Money MD wrote an important article this week about physicians having the financial ability to retire early-https://smartmoneymd.com/why-every-doctor-needs-to-think-about-early-retirement/.

Perhaps the most important lines are:

The strongest negotiating chip one can have is the ability to walk away from the deal if the other party doesn’t agree to favorable terms.  The only real way to do that is if your livelihood doesn’t depend on the job itself.  

For indeed, physicians face increasing barriers to independence and security in the future.   “Medicare for all” may not happen soon or at all, but we don’t know that.  Regardless of that, there is clearly societal and governmental pressure to reduce the cost of health care-which is likely to affect physician compensation for many years to come.

Despite the fact that we get a late start, most of us make significant incomes in our early years of practice.  It is crucial that those early years are focused on paying off debt, minimizing new debt (fancy cars and houses), and establishing significant savings toward retirement.  Only then will you have the financial strength to pick and choose the terms under which you practice in the future.

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Steven Podnos MD, CFP

Steven Podnos MD CFP attended the University of Florida College of Medicine and trained in Internal Medicine, Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine at UT Southwestern in Dallas Texas. He moved back to Florida with his physician wife (ENT) and raised a family while practicing Pulm/CC medicine for over twenty years. During that time, he also started and ran a Hospitalist program for several years. In 2002, Steve began a slow transition towards having a Fiduciary Fee Only Financial planning practice-at first just for friends and family. As the practice grew, he transitioned out of full time medical practice to full time financial planning. Dr. Podnos joined the US Air Force Reserve in 2008 as a critical care physician and flight surgeon. He deployed twice to Landstuhl Army Hospital in Germany as an intensivist during the Afghanistan war in 2009 and 2010, and as a critical care air transport (CCATT) physician in Okinawa in July 2018. His firm, Wealth Care LLC now serves approximately 100 physician families nationwide and another fifty non physician families with both financial planning and wealth management. He is a staunch advocate of independent medical practice, believing that the corporatization of medicine and Electronic Medical Records are both harmful to physicians. 

  1 comment for “Financial Flexibility

  1. Aaron M. Levine,
    December 4, 2019 at 10:14 am

    Remember the Proverb: Dig the well before you are thirsty.

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