A have to realistically stride towards achieving
A typical example of self-employed professionals earning well butjust well oiled earning machines only, that is where the buck stops as theyusually won’t be doing any financialplanning. Because of an overtly busy schedule, they usually won’t be keeping acheck on how much they earn because of variability in the monthly earnings(nothing is fixed in a private practice) and because of this usually, personaland professional expenses get muddled up. They do not have time for investmentplanning, tax planning etc. and end up making wrong investment choices at thefag end of financial year in March on just a verbal advice, hearsay or freeadvice or even worse, evade tax by hiding income. Many are so busy with erraticworking hours that they don’t have the time or inclination to spend time onmanaging finances. Such medico/dental couples need to take certain drasticsteps like separating out personal and professional expenses, creating a budgetwith a high insurance cover for both and kids so that personal goals andprofessional expenses are taken care off in case of unfortunate events. Certainrealistic financial goals like children’s education, retirement plans have tobe worked out with the help of a financialplanner, if not by themselves and then have to realistically stride towardsachieving the same by investing properly and reviewing their investmentsregularly. They have to take stern decisions of investment via financialadvisor if they are not comfortable doing this on their own.
Dentists/Doctors need to be in tune with the current trends,changes, to stay updated with the latest technologies and to keep updating ourskills, as we normally invest more than any other profession. Though we comewith an advantage that we can practice our profession throughout until possible,we should not be negligent thinking that the career is long enough andretirement plans should always be kept in mind, which most of us usually tendto ignore. Due to late entry into income compared to other professions, weusually invest for high returns resulting in lower than expected returns andsometimes even losses. Do’s and Don’ts for us – The Dentists / DoctorsWe, the health professionals are fond of giving instructions toour patients as doctors or dentists, but when it comes to finance, we ourselveshave to follow a few do’s and don’ts or saying it other way, a taste of our ownmedicine in matters of finance. We have to follow a few cardinal rules toensure that our finances remain in a healthy condition (similar to what weexpect in our patients).
Some of the mistakes commonly made by us are: 1. The temptation to splurgeshould be curbed big time once we start earning the big bucks. This urgebasically stems from the so called ‘exile’ period we have spent in our so manyspent years as a junior student first, then as a senior student and then careerstruggling etc. when we feel, we missed out on opportunities to have fun as westarted to earn well much later in life than our school, college or otherfriends.
The urge spills on to fancy vacations, new cars, eating out everyalternate day etc. This juncture is very important to keep a check on ourexpenditure and concentrate on savings and investments. This doesn’t mean thatwe totally limit ourselves to the above, but drawing a decent line somewheredown the line does help a lot.2.
Busy schedule and time constraint makes us morevulnerable since we are one of the most hard pressed professions fortime and in the daily crushing of things, we tend to take a back seat inmanaging our finances usually leading us to either invest in a veryunstructured and impromptu manner or the decision making is handed over to anon-expert.3. Prime importance is to begiven to have good amount of life cover and disability insurance cover so thatfinancial needs of family and profession are taken care of in case of unforeseenand unfortunate events.4. Wrongly made heavyinvestments in Real estate is not a good idea for us as real estate is just anasset class and totally investing in it might not be better for overallreturns.5. In this era of ‘consumer is king’, when there is a patientknocking on the doors of consumer court every minute, a good indemnity cover isalso a must.