A retirement plan isn’t usually a top priority for fresh doctors looking for their first jobs, whether that final date is in five years or thirty. Perhaps knowing when to hang up your hat is immaterial so early in your career since most doctors will end up leaving their first job within the first five years anyway.  However, I do wish that I had some inkling about the career paths ...

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Asset protection is a term that gets tossed around quite a bit when we discuss how long and difficult the journey is for doctors to establish their careers.  You always want to protect what you’ve worked hard for, right? The principles for asset protection apply not only to doctors but essentially anyone who wishes to have some sort of security for their assets. The key is to make sure you don’t over ...

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We’ve all heard about credit card points and miles by now—put enough of your expenses on plastic and you’ll be flying first class airlines all the time, right? We are actually fortunate in American (sorry for those of you residing in, let’s say Japan, who still are stuck in a mostly cash-based society) to be able to have incredible amount of credit card options to squeeze out every penny. While the ...

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The general consensus among physicians who have a solid grasp on their finances is that they are realistic about their earnings and expenses. Ins and outs. Just like in nephrology, except a net positive in your finances is considered a win.  One would expect that doctors ought to be generally conservative in their expenditures, since medicine is a generally conservative profession. But life is unpredictable, and that’s why there are ...

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Disability can be a devastating outcome to a doctor’s career and self-image. Think about it: You busted your butt to learn how to do a Whipple procedure, end up getting into a skiing accident that ends your career right there. No worries, because you purchased the appropriate coverage of own-occupation disability insurance, right? Having disability insurance certainly provides a protective cushion, especially you are the sole breadwinner. This is a no-brainer, ...

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It’s human nature to be social.  The collective sensation of being in a group or organization helps us belong. We see this in school, where kids band together for activities. We see this in the doctor’s lounge, where the anesthesia guys chat about the latest hospital gossip. Occasionally we see the loners who shed the collective mentality and shine through their own path. If these novel beliefs are compelling enough ...

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We talk about money on my website, and how to make sure that you have enough of it.  In fact, that’s pretty much the entire strategy for the growing crowd of people in the world who are gunning to retire at an age that most neurosurgeons start their careers. Those of us in the medical field who also have similar ambitions to work our finances intelligently are likely to have similar ...

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The grass is always greener on the other side.  Humans are like that. For reasons that we can never consistently define, any situation other than the one that we are in has potential to be better.  I guess we just like to compare ourselves to others and assume that there is a better life over the horizon.  That doctors wish to get themselves in a better situation is nothing new. ...

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Doctors and other caretakers are the pawns of the health care system. We provide the services that allow hospitals and medical groups to bring in big revenue.  Unless we are contracting directly with insurers, doctors will never realize the true financial firepower that we have. As the health care environment evolves, we are seeing fewer individual physician-owned groups and more conglomerates.  The larger the system that we belong in, the ...

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Some of us like to micromanage.  Obviously, this trait is useful only for certain tasks that you need to accomplish.  Managing money can take some attention to detail, but fortunately, many issues work themselves out if you follow broad principles.  How much you should micromanage your daily expenditures really depends on your own tolerance and your individual financial situation.  We’ve all seen discussions about the cost of daily artisanal cups ...

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