Atlanta Financial Blog
Each year, Medical Economics asks physicians about their top challenges for the new year. During the 2018 end-of-the-year polling, this leading healthcare publication posed a more provocative question: “What is ruining medicine for physicians?” An overarching theme that emerged from the 2018 poll centered on how the business side of healthcare is demanding more of physicians’ attention than any other issue – even patient care. From continuing education requirements to continued declines in reimbursement rates to hard-to-use EHR systems and payer relations, there seems to be fewer hours left in physicians’ days to do what they do best and were trained to do – diagnose illnesses and treat patients. As a Wealth Manager and the spouse of a physician, I’ve called out four of the nine “pain points” that I found most relevant to a physician’s finances:
Are you prepared to protect your assets in case you get sued? Hopefully this won’t happen to you, but the hard reality is that successful, financially secure individuals, especially business owners and professionals, are targets — a magnet for actions such as lawsuits and torts. For example, more than a third of physicians (34%) have had a claim filed against them at some point in their careers.1 For business owners, 36-53% of small businesses are involved in at least one litigation in any given year.2 Even if these claims or lawsuits are frivolous, they can be frustrating and potentially devastating to your financial well-being.
As human beings we may not be wired to make good financial decisions. Behavioral finance points to anchoring bias and recency bias are just two of the many factors that influence our decision-making. If not properly addressed, these biases can have a negative impact on the foundation and long-term success of your financial plan, and they tend to present themselves most strongly at the tail-end of a bull market.
“Gray Divorce,” or divorce among couples 50 or over, has risen dramatically over the last few decades, more than doubling since 1990 according to a Pew Research Center report. During this same time period, the divorce rate overall has fallen. So why are we seeing such a spike in the divorce rate for older Americans?
Recently, I was interviewed by U.S. News & World Report for an article on phased retirements. I shared that, “Phasing into retirement can be a wonderful way to move into the next chapter of your life gracefully while still enjoying the rewards of working.” Indeed, retirement for the baby boomer generation and those younger is looking very different from the retirement of our parents. For many, retirement will be a long process of gradually winding down work hours and responsibilities rather than a firm date. There are advantages to this phased in approach and things to watch out for, too.
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