How Much Life Insurance Do You Really Need?

One of the questions we get a lot is “How much life insurance do I need?”  First, here are some considerations:

  • 1 in 5 people wished their spouse or partner had life insurance or more of it.
  • 29% say they would feel the financial impact from the death of a primary wage earner in one month after they passed.
  • 38% of people have not purchased life insurance or more of it because they’re unsure of how much or what type to buy.

There are “rules of thumb” out there for determining how much life insurance you need, but the answer varies from person to person. You need to consider your own personal situation, including:

  • Age
  • Wages (for you and your spouse)
  • Mortgage
  • Debt
  • Current savings
  • Lifestyle (how does your family define being “comfortable?”)
  • Personal Wishes (e.g. paying for your child’s college or private schooling or the ongoing care of your dependants)

Your needs may also change over time based upon your current financial status, so you will want to revisit your insurance strategy every so often.

Did you know we have a tool on our website that can help you figure out how much life insurance you need just by asking you a few questions? Use the tool now and then contact us to schedule your consultation.

 


End-of-Year Planning: Your Financial Checklist!

Our goal is to help you make confident financial choices every day and – ultimately – help you thrive. Ready to get organized for the New Year? We can help make sure everything is in order. Here’s a handy checklist to ensure you’re thinking about everything you should be with a new year around the corner.

  1. Schedule a meeting with your financial advisor
  2. Review your insurance coverage
  3. Review your beneficiaries
  4. Review your retirement contributions
  5. Review and/or rebalance your portfolio
  6. Calculate your net worth (assets – debt)
  7. Evaluate your plan for minimizing debt, does it need to be revised?
  8. Ensure you’re on track to be financially independent
  9. Tune up your emergency fund and set aside capital for opportunities
  10. Make a tax-deductible donation to charity (by Dec. 31)

Your Annual Reminder: Review Your Accounts!

It’s the end of the year, and as things slow down and you have more time to reflect on what’s important, don’t forget to review your accounts and policies to make sure everything is in order. Here are some things to consider as the year comes to a close.

 

  • Do you have the coverage you need?
    Life happens. As a physician, what would you do if you couldn’t work for an extended period of time because of an illness or injury? Review your disability insurance. Which riders you need? Do you have the right amount of coverage? Do you true own occupation? Some employers have group disability coverage, but legally does it protect you in all circumstances?
  • 2. Are your beneficiaries updated?
    Retirement accounts, life insurance policies, annuities, and many other types of financial accounts allow you to name beneficiaries. Do you have your spouse or children listed? To ensure your wishes are followed, it’s essential to have them documented.
  • Is your family protected?
    What would happen to your family if you died? It’s a grim question to ask and even grimmer to think about, yes, but it’s important to acknowledge the “what ifs” to protect your family. What life insurance coverage do you have? Does the amount only cover the cost of your home and auto debt? Is it important for you to get enough coverage so that your family can keep your assets and not be forced to sell them and forfeit your family’s financial goals?

 

Need help updating information or getting coverage? Let’s schedule a conversation.


Gain Sight Give Sight: The Campaign That’s Changing the World

It’s the season of gratitude, and we are honored to work with our physician partners who are out healing people every day. Our way of giving back is through our Gain Sight Give Sight campaign.

Much like how TOMS One for One campaign or Walgreen’s Get a Shot Give a Shot campaign, this initiative is our commitment to our client partners who have chosen to dedicate their life to serve others. Just by being a client, you are restoring sight for one person every year that you are a client.

One set of eyes at a time, we are working our way towards curing blindness in 1,000,000 eyes.

It’s an ambitious goal, but consider this: there are 150,000,000 people out there who don’t have the ability to see, but could if provided with the same healthcare resources we take for granted. 80% of the world’s blindness is curable. Nearly one third of all blindness across the globe is caused by cataracts, and most cases are surgically treatable.

That’s where we know we can step in and help and work relentlessly to make a dent in those statistics. Our Gain Sight Give Sight campaign funds the cataracts surgeries. We have partnered with a group of heroic ophthalmologists who are volunteering their time to travel to third world countries and perform these life-changing procedures to people in need.

There has never been a better time to join us. And for those who are going to partner with us, to make an impact worldwide. Our first trip to Africa was to Tanzania. Our next trip is in just a few months to Ethiopia. By tapping into the purchasing power of conscious client partners, we strive to make a global impact and inspire others to choose to partner with organizations who are making a difference.


Know How to Negotiate Your Contract!

What does it take to thrive? To reach your financial goals, it’s best to enlist the assistance of professional negotiators with your best interest in mind when negotiating a physician contract. We do the legwork for you so you can focus on your patients and life’s work while we fight for the best deal you can get.

It is not advised to rely on basic research when it comes to how to negotiate such an important document. A lot of advice articles that you find online will only cover straightforward scenarios and basics that don’t address the special circumstances that occur during real contract negotiations. That’s why you need experts on your side.

Because they are legal documents that set the stage for you financially, our contract review process includes both an attorney and a financial advisor. The former evaluates your compensation and financial position overall; the latter incorporates this evaluation into the legal review and negotiation process.

The process works like this: you provide us with your employment documents and other information related to the opportunity. Then we schedule two important calls: one with one of our expert financial advisors and the other with an attorney, each of whom specializes in guiding doctors through the contract negotiation process.

During your call with the financial advisor, s/he will provide a detailed, written comparison of your offer to industry standards as well as the MGMA database and our own database, and then use that to discuss what changes could be requested.  During your call with the attorney, s/he will incorporate the issues discussed with the financial advisor, discuss issues posed by the legal documents, and then coach you in negotiation strategy.

After these calls, if you would like to continue communications with the employer, we will wait in the wings, ready to answer any questions, step in if needed, and prepared to review and discuss the employer’s response. If you would like the attorney to negotiate for you, s/he is willing to do so for no additional charge.

The average client will have thorough phone calls with the advisor and attorney at the initial review stage, and then a briefer phone call or email correspondence after negotiation, in order to review the employer’s response, to help decide whether to sign the new (normally final) contract version.

Long story short? Physician employment agreements are complex. We can help ensure you negotiate a contract that will allow you to thrive.

Let’s talk!


We Do the Legwork When it Comes to Disability Insurance

Life happens. As a physician, what would you and your family do if you couldn’t work for an extended period of time because of an illness or injury? Your mortgage and bills? Your savings? Your lifestyle? It’s the “what if” scenarios that lead us to recommend disability insurance, particularly for physicians..

If you’re looking for different disability insurance alternatives and trying to balance cost and value, you’ve come to the right place. We’re here to make sure you have access to only the BEST insurance companies for physicians.

When it comes to disability insurance, there’s a lot to consider.

We know you may have questions about the best time to buy, which riders you need, how much insurance you need, whether you need a supplemental policy if your residency already provides one, or how different policies work together — and we will help navigate you through all those details.

We do the research for you so you can focus on what you do best: diagnosing illnesses and saving lives.

Think of us as your personal disability insurance shoppers, pulling together multiple options to help you protect your income at the lowest price possible. And, as we are not tied to any particular insurance product or carrier, we stay unbiased in our approach.

Did we mention we provide discounts? Because so many physicians use us for disability insurance planning, we have access to discounts at most medical institutions across the U.S.

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What Your Kids Can Learn About Financial Health from You

Ask any 4-year-old what they want to be when they grow up, and you’ll get a hodgepodge of answers ranging from the adorable to the extreme.

“A firefighter!” “A rock star!”  “A squirrel!”

One timeless profession that has proven to be a top choice for kids decade after decade, however, is that of the doctor. Especially if they have a parent or family member they look up to who is a doctor.

What are we supposed to say to our children, who are looking up at us with twinkly eyes full of hope and excitement, when they tell us they want to be just like us? We tell them that we think it’s great that they want to help people, and they can be whatever they want to be if they work hard and study in school. We certainly don’t whisper about the pitfalls: the long hours, the rough cases, and the…dun dun dun…student loans.

Becoming a doctor is a huge commitment, and that commitment is probably at the back of your mind when your child tells you they want to follow in your footsteps. The amount of extra schooling that it takes and the subsequent debt is nothing to scoff at. Of course, you got through it, and if you got through it, your child can get through it. But after spending 10 years in medical school and residency and racking up sizable debt with student loans, it’s easy to empathize with doctors who may not wish the long journey on their own children.

One of the best things we can do for our kids is teach them about debt and credit and investments to help their future shine as brightly as it can.

The upside is that your child  – like you – will make a great living if he or she follows through with medical school. One thing that isn’t taught in schools as thoroughly as it should be is financial health. Many kids are leaving high school not knowing how to balance a checkbook let alone understanding the ins and outs of IRAs or disability insurance. One of the best things we can do for our kids is teach them about debt and credit and investments to help their future shine as brightly as it can. That is invaluable knowledge passed down.

Only 21% of physicians are “very confident” in their personal financial decisions. We’re here to help you make all the right investments so that you can reduce debt and plan for a lucrative retirement. We hope that by helping you thrive, you can pass down that wealth (both literally and figuratively) for generations to come, and set a great example for your kids on how to invest in their future.


Retire Early…for Your Family

If you make the right choices along the way, there’s a good chance you will be able to retire early, which would bring a wealth of benefits to you and your family. Those right choices include saving in multiple “buckets,” investing in smart funds, avoiding unnecessary debt, and making other sound financial choices.

It should be no secret to learn that retiring early can increase your quality of life. The reduced stress is good for your physical and mental health, not to mention all the newfound time you would have to exercise, pursue your favorite hobbies, and spend quality time with the people you love. Retiring early means getting to hang up the ol’ stethoscope at age 45 or 50 instead of 65 or even older; and that’s an age you can actually enjoy!

Perhaps most importantly, retiring early will give you more time with your kids and family while you (and they) are still young and you can enjoy activities together. No more coordinating nightmarish schedules to try to be present at important family events. No more working late nights or early mornings and missing out on holidays and invaluable memories. No more worrying about what’s happening at the clinic or with a patient. All those years of working long hours and crazy schedules will finally pay off as your family gets you – all of you – all of the time.

“The good news is that as a physician, you can absolutely retire early.”

The good news is that as a physician, you can absolutely retire early. This is a job perk available to you if you plan ahead. You have worked hard to get to where you are, and knowing how to save and invest your salary will determine when you can retire and live a lifestyle you’re comfortable with for the rest of your years. Unfortunately, most physicians have neither the time nor the interest in investing and financial planning. That’s where we step in.

We work solely with physicians, and all of our financial planning services are centered around your success. Our goal is for your investments to thrive. When you do well, we do well, and we are committed to helping you achieve your full potential.

We plan for the long-term and intend to be your advising partner through your career and lifetime. Just as you vow to look out for your patients’ best interest, we are here to look after yours. If you’re ready to start planning for your early retirement, call us for a complimentary consultation.