You're Doing Fine
For those of you following along at home, you’ll know that I’ve spent a fair amount of time talking about the financial decisions and financial knowledge you should have while in residency. I absolutely stand by all of that, but it should be pointed out that by doing those steps or gaining that knowledge you’ll be ahead of most of your peers. Many doctors don’t think about this stuff until much later into their career when they find themselves stalling, burning out, and unable to pay down debt or get their finances under control. So, today’s post will look at the value of moderation and why you’re doing fine.
There are stories from many doctors who still haven’t figured out their finances and feel as though they’re running in a hamster wheel. However, there are also plenty of stories of the super financially disciplined residents and doctors who are looking to retire by the time they hit 35. For most of you, you’re in the middle, trying to survive residency and learn as much as you can while also spending the rare free moment with friends or family. To those of you who fit into that middle category, you’re doing fine. There has been a glorification of those who retire early and maximize every last cent of their retirement savings and their loan repayment schedules and while that’s great, it’s not even close to the kind of financial discipline required to be a successful doctor.
The fact of the matter is that what you do in your first year as an attending will have a much larger impact on your finances than anything and everything you do while in residency. When you become an attending, you’ll have far more income to work with, so you can better allocate where it goes. If you keep your standard of living pretty similar to what it was during residency, you should soon have a 6 figure amount per year with which to build your wealth. This can be used to quickly pay off student loans, max out retirement accounts, or save for great house. Patience is a virtue and if you enjoy the work you do, there’s no need to rush this process. You will eventually pay off your debts, and have enough in savings, and able to cover all of your needs and many of your wants. If you’re curious about finances and interested in being an active participant in controlling your financial well-being, you’re doing fine.
For those who are curious about their finances and want to learn more, shoot me an email and I’d be happy to go over the important pieces with you.