Does this sound familiar?
Suzanne and Michael are both doctors. She is a specialist working in the hospital system while he runs a busy suburban GP clinic. Both work long, and sometimes unsociable hours. They are raising two young children, but sometimes it seems like they only get to spend any time with them and each other on the weekend – assuming neither of them have to work.
They are both earning good money, paying down their mortgage and their super funds are growing with their contributions.
In many respects they are doing well financially, but they are not feeling comfortable. They don’t have an extravagant lifestyle, but they still seem to spend a lot of what they earn, and they don’t seem to be getting ahead as much as they thought they would – or as they feel they should.
When they have a moment to pause and think about it, they are worried about how far their income needs to stretch. At the most basic level, there is the mortgage that they want to pay off, private school fees to pay for their children and they want to be in a position to stop work at some stage, all the while maintaining their lifestyle.
The biggest issue for them is that they don’t know what is possible and they don’t feel in control.
Converting salary and income into a desired lifestyle, while also building wealth is not easy.
Medical professionals face a unique challenge, with up to a decade removed from their earning potential, due to a relatively long period of study and training. With a shorter working life than most professionals, the potential for high earnings is limited to a specific window of time. For female doctors the challenge can be even greater, with the period of education and specialist training coinciding with the optimum time to have children and raise a family. The decision to start a family can either extend the period of training or result in an Olympic level juggling effort just to get through – both of which will have a financial impact.
If your passion is for medicine, does this leave any time for personal wealth management?
Balancing the demands of a professional career with maintaining a family and social life, means finding time to actually sit down and think about your finances can be difficult. What is important to you? What do you want to be able to do? What are your concerns? And how do you develop a comprehensive plan that deals with all of these issues, yet is simple enough for you to actually implement? This is not to say that doctors are not capable of doing such work, it is just that their professional training has helped them deliver medical care rather than navigate the intricacies of the financial system.
Our research indicates that when considering financial matters, doctors and other successful professionals are predominantly concerned with 5 key areas:
- Making smart investment decisions.
- Mitigating the impact of taxation.
- Protecting their assets.
- Ensuring assets are transferred to the appropriate people and entities at the appropriate time.
- Philanthropy, or giving back to the community.
For time pressed doctors, one of the most important roles a wealth manager can play is providing the space and time for you and your spouse to stop and consider these issues, and to develop a list of priorities. This will clarify what is important for you and your family. They can then develop a plan that will maximize the chances of you achieving these things. Importantly for busy medical families, working with a wealth manager should simplify your life.
Addressing these concerns, and converting potential into wealth requires forethought, planning and ongoing management. All financial advisors provide investment consulting advice. Few provide a complete wealth management service that deals with all of these issues.
If you would like a second opinion on your finances, feel free to call David Hazlewood of Western Pacific on 02 9959 0510.
Western Pacific Financial Group Ltd AFSL No 224662, is a wholly owned subsidiary of SFG Australia Limited ABN 81 006 490 259 (SFG). This document contains general advice and/or information prepared without taking into account your investment objectives, financial situation or needs. You should, before taking any action, consider whether any general advice is appropriate having regard to your financial objectives, situation or needs. This document has been prepared in good faith and with reasonable care. Neither SFG nor any other person make any representation or warranty, express or implied, as to the accuracy, reliability, reasonableness or completeness of the contents of this presentation (including any projections, forecasts, estimates, prospects and returns and any omissions from this document). To the maximum extent permitted by law, SFG and their respective officers, employees and advisers disclaim and exclude all liability for any loss or damage (whether foreseeable or not foreseeable) suffered or incurred by any person acting on any information (including any projections, forecasts, estimates, prospects and returns) provided in, or omitted from this document. We recommend that you consult with your own legal, tax, business and/or financial advisers in connection with any investment decision.