Top 10 Physician's Money Digest Stories of 2010

Since Physician's Money Digest's online relaunch this year, we've covered the gamut of personal finance, financial-planning and practice-management news for physicians. So what were the biggest financial news stories of 2010 among our readers? Take a look.

Since Physician’s Money Digest’s online relaunch in April 2010, we’ve covered the gamut of personal finance, financial-planning and practice-management news for physicians. This year has seen drastic changes in the way physicians do business -- from a slew of new healthcare rules and regulations to upheaval in physician pay and a shift from solo and small-group practice to larger healthcare systems — and we’ve been right there to cover it for you.

So you’d think the Health Reform would be among the top stories for our readers in 2010 … but you’d be wrong. So what were the biggest financial news stories of 2010 among our readers? Take a look:

1. The 10 Best and Worst Paying College Degrees.

PayScale.com compiled the best and worst undergraduate college degrees in its 2010-11 College Salary Report. Petroleum and aerospace engineering were the top-earning degrees, bringing in a mid-career median pay of $157,000 and $108,000, respectively. Child and family studies and elementary education rounded out the bottom two worst-paying degrees, with median mid-career earnings of just $38,400 and $44,400, respectively. In comparison, the worst-paying job for doctors -- family practice -- earned $175,000, according to a recent study by Forbes magazine.

2. Top 10 Cars Most Likely to Get a Ticket.

Researchers at Quality Planning, a unit of Verisk Analytics Inc., in Jersey City, N.J., that validates policyholder information for auto insurers, released its updated list of cars that are most likely to get a traffic ticket. The study looked at various vehicle types and the likelihood of each to be ticketed by law enforcement based on the number of moving violations per 100,000 miles driven.

3. Forbes Rates the Worst Paying Jobs for Doctors.

Forbes magazine counted down the "Worst Paying Jobs for Doctors" this week, and for many physicians in training the numbers are disquieting. The No. 1 worst-paying doctor job? No surprise here: Family practice, where physicians earned an average of $175,000 last year, according to Merritt Hawkins & Associates' 2010 Review of Physician Recruiting Incentives. Indeed, primary care physicians earn the lowest salary of all doctors.

4. The Top 5 Places to Retire Abroad.

Each year, AARP magazine ranks the top places for Americans to retire overseas, taking into consideration climate, the expat community, the cost of living, housing, quality of healthcare, and access to the U.S. and culture and leisure. (If you think Central American countries will dominate the list, you're in for a surprise.)

5. Zillow Counts Down the Most Bizarre Homes.

Real-estate listing site Zillow.com recently featured 10 homes that it called “unique” and “one of a kind.” (We call them flat-out bizarre.) A number of these strange homes are for sale, or have been on the market recently -- and the look on the faces of prospective buyers as they pulled up to the curb to view them must have been priceless!

6. Ranking the Top Physician Jobs in America.

Do you have the best job in America? Perhaps not … but your Physician Assistant comes awfully close. Physician Assistants came in second-place in a ranking of the “Top 100 Best Jobs in America,” as determined by Money magazine and payroll-data website Payscale.com.

7. The 10 Worst States for Retirement.

TopRetirement ranked the by heavily weighting its list on three criteria: the states’ fiscal health, taxation, and climate. According to the website: “Many U.S. states are having serious trouble balancing their budgets, not to mention adequately funding their future pension and healthcare obligations.”

8. The Top 5 Mistakes Couples Make in Divorce.

Tiger Woods finalized his divorce settlement with former Swedish swimsuit model Elin Nordegren in August, coughing up a rumored $100 million to ensure his wife won’t talk publicly about the sordid events leading up to the split. In addition to the six-figure sum, Nordegren reportedly will get several homes, including an $80 million mansion in Jupiter, Fla. But no matter how large a settlement may be, divorcing couples often trip themselves up by focusing solely on divvying up cash and not looking ahead to what might make more financial sense down the road. These are the Top 5 mistakes most couples make in divorce.

9. 11 Must Do Money Moves for 2011.

Avoiding cash investments, re-evaluating your investment portfolio for risk and maxing out tax-advantaged savings plans are just a few of the Top 11 financial moves recommended by wealth management experts at Brinton Eaton of Madison, N.J.

10. The 10 Richest Americans in Medicine.

All doctors are rich, right? That's a view shared by most Americans -- though a wide swath of primary care physicians would likely beg to differ. Still, a number of entrepreneurs and physicians (and their descendants) owe their considerable fortunes to the life-sciences and healthcare industries. Ten of them made Forbes magazine's "Top 400 Richest Americans" list this year: