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.

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.

Do Contract Reviews Work?

Contract reviews can be expensive. Do contract reviews work?

Anticipation is defined as a feeling of excitement about something that is going to happen or the act of preparing for something. On average, physicians spend at least 10 years in training and preparing to step into their career. When that day finally comes you’re presented with a 10 – 30 page document outlining and describing in great detail the minutia of the offer. In most cases, comparing the awareness level of what’s actually included in the contract or isn’t included, is a bit lopsided. On one side of the table is the health care organization or practice with their team of attorneys and on the other side of the table is, you. Being presented with the offer usually leads to many different emotions, all in the midst of trying to evaluate the compensation, benefits, implications, ramifications and details of a legal document.

The majority of physicians who are presented with a job offer and contract usually feel that they either can’t negotiate, shouldn’t negotiate, or that there really aren’t areas for negotiation, that the offer is what it is. Continue reading…

doctors life podcast

The Doctor’s Life Podcast Episode 033- Keep Your Spouse Involved In Your Finances

It may not be something you want to hear, but keeping your spouse involved in your finances is important. I know, I know…sometimes they are terrible with money. Or maybe they just aren’t interested in going through financial goals or looking at a present-day money situation. It is important for your family’s financial goals that they are involved. If both of you are involved, you will be directed towards one common goal.

Nick Schneider is in The Doctor’s Life Podcast studio to explain why it is important for you to have your spouse involved in your finances. All episodes of The Doctor’s Life Podcast are available here, iTunes, Android, and on SoundCloud. Make sure to subscribe and you will be the first to get new episodes of The Doctor’s Life Podcast. Continue reading…

Financially Prepared Physicians

Retirement In Sight for June 2016

R E T I R E M E N T  I N  S I G H T
Presented by Nick Schneider



JUNE 2016


One act of real usefulness is worth all the abstract sentiment in the world.

– Anne Radcliffe


Get the broom out

If you start topping the ball either because you are a beginner or because you have a negative “muscle memory” associated with taking deep divots, this exercise can help. Every day, take 10 golf swings with a kitchen broom. Focus on brushing the bristles against the floor and reaching and extending your left arm on the follow-through.


The Apple Wrapper Riddle.
A shop sells apples for $1 each. Each apple comes wrapped in a special wrapper. You can trade 3 wrappers for 1 apple. If you have $15, what is the maximum number of apples you can buy?*


In the 1800s, aluminum was actually worth more than gold

Back then, it was a precious metal: coveted for its light weight, yet very difficult to produce. In 1852, usable aluminum was worth the equivalent of $1,200 a kilogram in today’s terms. By 1900, new and easy ways of creating aluminum had emerged and a kilogram of it cost less than a dollar.5


RETIRING WITH A COMFORTABLE LEVEL OF INCOMEIn retirement, your level of income directly affects your quality of life. How can you effectively give yourself more spending power?

From a portfolio standpoint, you can focus on income-producing investments. When you start planning for retirement, you invest with an emphasis on growth. As you transition to retirement, growth remains important – but you also need to seek investments that can potentially create ongoing income streams. In addition, you can plan to make your portfolio more tax-efficient. Too many investors pay too little attention to this factor and leave money on the table.

New retirees sometimes spend more per month than they anticipate. Retiring with an income plan outlining how much money you really need and where it will come from may help you avoid this shock. Longevity and inflation will certainly come into play. The Social Security Administration says that today’s average 65-year-old can expect to live until his or her mid-eighties; about a quarter of 65-year-olds will live past age 90. So across a 20-year retirement, your income must grow significantly to maintain your standard of living, even if inflation proves mild.1,2


As a society, perhaps not as much as we should. In a new Associated Press/NORC poll of Americans 40 and older, 38% of those surveyed said they expected to depend on Medicare “quite a bit” or “completely” for long-term care. In truth, most long-term care is non-medical and Medicare will not pay for it. Just 20% of respondents had any form of long-term care coverage.

While 77% of survey respondents said they would want to be cared for at home if eldercare was necessary, only 18% thought they would turn to family members or friends for no-cost eldercare. The reality is different. By the estimate of the Department of Health & Human Services, unpaid caregivers deliver roughly 80% of in-home eldercare. More states may be ready to give these caregivers a financial break. Right now, California, New Jersey, and Rhode Island are the only states mandating employers to offer them paid leave – but New York will join the list in 2018, and 19 other states are considering such legislation.3

You may spend less during retirement than you think you will. According to an analysis in the Journal of Financial Planning, households headed by 65-year-olds that spend $100,000 a year typically reduce their expenditures 20% by age 80.4


Nick Schneider may be reached at

Securities offered through Lion Street Financial, LLC. (LSF), Member FINRA & SIPC. Investment Advisory Services offered through Physician Investment Advisors, LLC. Physician Advisors and Physician Investment Advisors are not affiliated with LSF.

This material was prepared by MarketingPro, Inc., and does not necessarily represent the views of the presenting party, nor their affiliates. This information has been derived from sources believed to be accurate. The publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting or other professional services. If assistance is needed, the reader is advised to engage the services of a competent professional. This information should not be construed as investment, tax or legal advice and may not be relied on for the purpose of avoiding any Federal tax penalty.

* TRIVIA ANSWER: Stumped? Contact me for the answer!

1 – [5/2/16]

2 – [6/9/16]

3 – [6/3/16]

4 – [5/31/16]

5 – [5/13/14]

Should You Change Jobs or Stay the Course?

Does sticking with the same firm actually hurt your financial potential?

Provided by Nick Schneider

If you spend two years or less at a series of jobs, is that a problem? Shouldn’t your resume signal loyalty instead of transience?

Well, maybe it isn’t a problem. Maybe you are doing yourself a financial favor instead, especially in this decade. Maybe the conventional wisdom about “getting ahead” is flawed. The era of the organization man/woman is long gone, and how many people do you know who have spent a decade or longer working for one employer?

Remember 5% annual raises? Chances are, your most recent raise was on the order of 2-3%. While you are keeping up with consumer prices at that rate, you may not be making up for any financial steps you took backward as a result of the recession. Even the all-stars at your firm may be getting just a 5-6% yearly raise.

Quitting to find a better wage is on the rise. In 2015, 16% of U.S. workers indicated to CareerBuilder that they were ready for a change. This year, 21% want to make a move. CareerBuilder’s Rosemary Haefner believes one reason for that rising percentage is a lack of employer investment in employees. “Whether the lack of investment is in the form of a paycheck, learning opportunities or career advancement, it often comes down to whether the employee feels valued.”1

It’s also down to the improving economy. With unemployment in down to 5%, it’s clear that hiring is happening. While that may not mean that every industry is looking for new blood, some are definitely looking for an infusion of personnel. The talent-hungry tech sector has boosted its average salary 5.3% from 2015 levels in hopes of locating qualified applicants.1

Is now the time to make your move? Five percent unemployment is approaching “full employment,” a period where the economy is getting the most out of skilled and unskilled labor. Assuming things remain on their current course, we may not see many more months where as many as 200,000 jobs are created, even as people who have stopped looking for work are drawn back into the working world. That could make this an ideal time to look upward if you are hoping to find a better-paying or more challenging job.2,3

On the other hand, there are bad times to change jobs, and U.S. News & World Report noted some of those. If you’re overworked, having interpersonal issues at the office or just bored, you can overreact; restructuring your workday or work tasks may offer a solution. If a major life event, long vacation or house hunt is just ahead, a job change may not be ideal or smart. It may not be wise if you sense that the economy (or your industry) is in line for a downturn, or if you’ve been at your job for less than a year. Lastly, a job search that coincides with the holiday season may be more prolonged than you anticipate; HR officers and managers may be more available (and less stressed) when mid-January rolls around.4

If you love what you do and are good at it, you may see no reason to change jobs. Alternately, you might reason that you could excel and love your work even more in a new environment. Consider the above-mentioned factors (and others) if you are looking for greener grass.

Nick Schneider may be reached at

This material was prepared by MarketingPro, Inc., and does not necessarily represent the views of the presenting party, nor their affiliates. This information has been derived from sources believed to be accurate. Please note – investing involves risk, and past performance is no guarantee of future results. The publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting or other professional services. If assistance is needed, the reader is advised to engage the services of a competent professional. This information should not be construed as investment, tax or legal advice and may not be relied on for the purpose of avoiding any Federal tax penalty. This is neither a solicitation nor recommendation to purchase or sell any investment or insurance product or service, and should not be relied upon as such. All indices are unmanaged and are not illustrative of any particular investment.

Securities offered through Lion Street Financial, LLC. (LSF), Member FINRA & SIPC. Investment Advisory Services offered through Physician Investment Advisors, LLC. Physician Advisors and Physician Investment Advisors are not affiliated with LSF. Physician Investment Advisors, LLC’s outgoing and incoming e-mails are electronically archived and subject to review and/or disclosure to someone other than the recipient. We cannot accept requests for securities transactions or other similar instructions through e-mail. We cannot ensure the security of information e-mailed over the Internet, so you should be careful when transmitting confidential information such as account numbers and security holdings. If the reader of this message is not the intended recipient, or an employee or agent responsible for delivering this message to the intended recipient, you are hereby notified that any dissemination, distribution or copying of this communication is strictly prohibited. If you have received this communication in error, please notify us immediately by replying to this message and deleting it from your  computer. 


1 – [5/6/16]

2 – [2016]

3 – [5/6/16]

4 – [9/18/13]