Planning a year ahead was manageable in my first and second year. Planning three, four, five years ahead to assess my financial situation? I needed to bring out the big guns.
A few days ago, I had a meeting with a financial advisor from our medical association’s financial branch. This is a service that is offered as part of our membership where we can receive objective advice about our finances that are tailored to physicians and medical students. Together, we were able to discuss such topics as net worth, cash flow, and debt projections.
As the first time I have really sat down with a financial advisor to work up my situation and assess my options, the meeting was an eye opener. When you try to manage finances alone versus working with someone who has overseen hundreds of clients in the profession, your work looks unsurprisingly and unimpressively amateur. It reinforced the reason why I was there and why we spoke: to get my finances on track and to see where I fit in the big picture by a professional.
At the moment? The projections look good. Certainly, watching the debt mount after a two-year projection is always a little scary but it was “manageable,” he assured me. Even after one year of residency, projections began to shape up. The figures I saw were my worst case scenario, the most conservative estimates. From the looks of things, I would be in a relatively solid position after graduation. I was comforted.
Now all that was left was for me to put the financial plan we discussed in motion.