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financial tips doctors australia
Money matters: Financial tips for GPs in Australia

When it comes to money matters, it’s no secret that doctors haven’t always been top of the class.

The time they devote to learning about medicine doesn’t leave a lot spare to consider how to invest and protect their wealth.

The result is that while some doctors are making their patients feel better, their own financial health is in dire need of attention.

The reality is, you don’t need to be the wolf of Wall Street to capitalise on your income and build a successful, robust financial plan.

It just needs your desire and conviction to want to protect your own and your family’s best interests.

Tips to put GPs on the path to a sound financial future

Education 

Managing your finances starts with you, and that means a little basic financial education.

After all, it’s your money and money matters.

There are countless sites on the web where you can read about personal finance and investment strategies.

Talk to trusted friends who work in the industry.

The first and easiest place to start is to dive in to the endless free content available on the internet – YouTube, podcasts and blogs are filled with highly credible, quality information to help you form the foundations of financial acumen.

The next step up is to invest in books and/or courses that can help you level up in this area. The costs are nominal, but the benefits are enormous.

Debt management

One of the first things you’ll learn about money matters is debt management.

There is good debt and bad debt.

Good debt is that investment property that is building wealth and offsetting tax.

Bad debt is that credit card you haven’t paid off yet as well all other high-interest loans.

If you’ve got a student loan, consider a plan to pay it off early.

Refinancing to bring all of your debt into one low-interest loan can save you thousands.

Budgeting

Budgeting is just a chart of your finances to ensure that what is coming in is more than what is going out.

Once that box is ticked, you can start steering your surplus funds into the right areas.

That will be paying off debt first and then saving or investing second.

Creating a detailed budget that tracks both your personal and professional expenses will help you identify, prioritise and eliminate unnecessary expenditure.

Automation

Automating savings and investments is the best way to set up your future without having to think about it.

It’s so easy to do and will seamlessly allocate a portion of your earnings to investments before you can think about spending it.

Your financial advisor or accountant can help with this, but your bank and other handy apps will have tools to facilitate these processes for you.

Emergency fund

When using automation, it’s also a good idea to put money aside for an emergency fund.

Ideally, it should be the equivalent of three to six months of living expenses.

It helps provide a financial buffer in the event of an unexpected illness, disability or job loss.

Or it could be used to pay for other sudden unexpected costs such as the need for a new car.

Savings fund

This is similar to an emergency fund but essentially for an expensive event, project or commitment.

It could be an overseas trip, starting a family, saving for a home deposit or the kids’ school fees.

By allocating a portion of your income every week, you’ll quickly save for something you really need rather than blowing the money on something you really didn’t.

Investment diversification

As you go deeper into the world of investment, remember the importance of diversification.

Diversification spreads risk.

It protects you from major losses if one sector of the economy suffers a significant downturn.

Hence, a mixture of shares, property, bonds and other asset classes is the best way to build wealth, while guarding against any major economic reverses.

Insurance 

Anyone who earns an income needs to insure it.

That is especially true for doctors.

Ensure you have appropriate levels of income protection or disability insurance.

Consider the benefits of life insurance and protecting your loved ones once you are gone.

As a doctor, you will also need professional liability insurance.

Be sure to regularly review your cover to gauge whether it remains aligned with your financial needs and responsibilities.

Retirement planning

Take a personal interest in your superannuation plan and ensure it is geared towards your financial goals, taking into account your age and desired risk profile.

But super is really the beginning – you really need a wealth strategy that factors in how much money you will need in retirement, what you need to do to get there, and how long it will take.

The more years you have remaining in the workforce, the higher the level of risk you should be prepared to tolerate.

Seek professional advice regarding additional super contributions to offset your tax liability and boost your retirement nest egg.

Tax planning

Anyone earning significant sums of money is wise to engage a tax expert who can help you legally maximise your earnings while minimising your tax obligations.

Once you have taken advantage of all potential deductions, credits and other incentives, the benefits can be quite significant.

By planning ahead, you can employ tax-efficient investment strategies that pay big dividends.

Get proactive about your employment

Get strategic about your business and employment.

Making the right move to another medical practice could yield instant, huge financial rewards.

Sometimes loyalty can pay off, too – smart medical practice owners want to look after and incentivise great doctors, and you could negotiate a lucrative new deal with your current place of work.

Whether you are changing jobs or being offered new terms within your current role, you want to negotiate the best deal you possibly can.

Consider salary, benefits and potential bonuses as well as the hours you are required to work.

So take an active role in those negotiations.

But this is where you can really benefit from working with a savvy healthcare recruiter who knows the market and understands your worth, to ensure you get the best possible deal.

Work-life balance

When considering any new opportunity, think about the demands that will be placed on your own need for work-life balance.

This may include the flexibility to work fewer hours or the same hours into fewer days, so creating an extra day off per week.

Taking care of your own physical and mental health will prolong your career and guard against burnout.

Seek professional advice

There is no substitute for sage professional advice.

This is especially true for anyone who lacks expertise in the field.

By engaging with a financial advisor and accountant who work specifically with healthcare professionals, you can benefit from strategies tailored uniquely to your situation and goals.

A financial advisor can also monitor your wealth management plan, and in consultation with you, make regular adjustments based on your circumstances and the prevailing economic winds.

Contact Health Recruitment Australia today

There’s a lot to think about when you moving to a new country to live and work.

Sadly sometimes money matters get pushed to the back of the queue.

But they shouldn’t and they don’t need to be.

That’s where Health Recruitment Australia can help.

HRA is a recruitment agency that specialises in matching doctors of all ages with the right clinics in Australia.

HRA won’t just find you the right city, area and practice to work in.

We’ll also recommend you a financial advisor to help with all of your money matters.

We’ll also make suggestions in regard to any other professional assistance you require so you hit the ground running in your new career in Australia.

We’ll even take care of all that annoying paperwork as well!

There’s a significant GP shortage in Australia right now and it has opened up multiple opportunities for doctors interested in making the move.

Why not start with an informal, no-obligation discussion with the experienced team at Health Recruitment Australia? Contact us.

Enquire now, and we’ll be
in touch shortly!

 

Enquire now, and we’ll be
in touch shortly!