Having worked with physicians for more than 20 years, as a financial advisor and a university health care finance professor, my experience has been that many physicians procrastinate when it comes to financial planning. When I speak about financial planning, I am not just referring to retirement planning, but also to all of the subheads connected to it.
Financial planning encompasses a number of issues, such as asset protection, investing, insurance, college planning, estate planning, and taxes. More often than not, and for a variety of reasons, the physicians I know put off taking care of their financial health. Sound familiar?
I spent my entire adult life studying finance and business and don't know the first thing about medicine. Likewise, physicians have spent their adult lives studying medicine and know little about finance and business. It's not that doctors don't have an interest in money matters. The truth is finance is another language to most doctors, just as medicine is another language to financial advisors. But just as I should know that quitting smoking reduces the risk of lung cancer, a physician should know that the key to longterm investing success is diversification.
So, how to bridge this intellectual gap? Well, at age 50, I rather doubt that I'm going to go back to school and get my degree in medicine. Instead of that route, I find a physician I trust and work with them to maintain my health by following their instructions. Likewise, if you don't have a desire to go back to school to get a degree in business or finance, then find a financial advisor you trust and work with them to maintain your fiscal health by following their advice.
's Money Digest
is a great tool to get you started on your lifelong journeyâ€”but it is only the first step. This publication may not turn you into Warren Buffett or Peter Lynch, but it certainly will prepare you for your next big fiscal step: executing your financial wellness plan.
This month's feature on retirement planning, found on page 11, does just that. It helps you take those first painful steps in building and implementing a solid retirement strategy. In other words, it helps you get the ball rolling in the right direction. Good luck and keep reading, doctor.
and his partner, Harris L. Kerker, are
principals of the Asset Planning Group in Miami, Fla, specializing
in investment, retirement, and estate planning. Mr. Kosky
teaches corporate finance in the Saturday Executive and Health Care Executive MBA
Programs at the University of Miami. He welcomes
questions or comments at 800-953-5508, or visit www.assetplanning.net.
Thomas R. Kosky