Personal Finance/Investment Resources
- Recommended Reading
- Student Loan Refinancing
- Insurance Agents (Life and Disability, Malpractice and Tail, Home and Renter's)
- Primary Mortgages and Mortgage Refinancing
- Personal Loans
- Fee only Financial Planners
- Personal Finance Course
- Personal Finance Tracking Tools (Retirement/Net Worth Trackers, Budgeting Tools, etc)
- Accountants/Tax Strategy
- Asset Protection
- Estate Planning Resources
- Retirement accounts
- Guide to the Backdoor Roth
- Real Estate Investing
To establish a basic foundation in personal finance, I recommend starting with a quick read such as the books below. They will give you an overview of the space, allow you to distinguish good advice from bad advice, and know what questions to ask. I highly recommend doing this before going to a financial advisor. After that, there are so many great websites where you can supplement that information with deeper reading on the topic of concern, including financial blogs, podcasts, YouTube Channels, and others. They offer forums and posts packed full of great FREE information. Find one that matches your style and read up. There are also useful free personal finance tools like Personal Capital, which allow tracking your net worth, savings and budgeting planners, cash flow trackers, retirement and education planning, employer plan analysis, and fee trackers.
Great intro book to the basics of investing philosophy, and topics such as the backdoor ROTH, ETFs, estate planning, and retirement accounts.
This book will teach you the concept of index fund investing and how to diversify your portfolio with minimal fees and historically same or better performance than most financial advisors. This is a LOT easier than it looks. As in, checking in on your investment account a few times a year. Strongly believe this book can save you hundreds of thousands, if not millions, over the course of your career.
A classic book on personal finance as it relates to physicians. A great read for residents and early career physicians who are starting from scratch. There aren't lots of details about 'how,' but lots of pearls. This is supplemented well by its sequel, which has more concrete advice.
Student Loan Refinancing
Splash Financial: Splash Financial has partnered with Physician Side Gigs to provide a $500 cash bonus to its members who refinance. Splash was originally founded to help physicians, so there is no maximum loan limit. Checking your rate does not impact your credit score, and the entire application can be completed online. Splash also offers the option for residents and fellows to refinance and pay $100 a month during training. Members must refinance at least $100k to receive the $500 bonus. Do so here (affiliate link) at splashfinancial.com/physiciansidegigs.
Laurel Road: Laurel Road has partnered with Physician Side Gigs to provide a $550 cash bonus to its members who refinance. Checking your rate with Laurel Road only requires a soft credit pull, which will not affect your credit score. To proceed with an application, a hard credit pull will be required, which may affect your credit score. Check our affiliate link for details at https://www.laurelroad.com/partnerships/physiciansidegigs/.
Credible: Credible has partnered with Physician Side Gigs to offer bonuses to members who refinance. Members receive a $1000 bonus paid by gift card for refinancing amounts at or above $100,000 and $500 bonus paid by gift card for refinancing amounts below $100,000. Do so here (affiliate link) at www.credible.com/physiciansidegigs. Terms and conditions apply.
SoFi: SoFi has partnered with Physician Side Gigs to provide a preferential rate discount to our members, which over the course of a loan repayment, can save you thousands given the average amount of debt carried by most physicians coming out of training. SoFi is a leading student loan refinancing provider and evaluates borrowers holistically to offer low rates. You can check your rate in 2 minutes with no impact on your credit score at SoFi.com/physiciansidegigs, and must sign up through this (affiliate) link to qualify for our preferential rates. If you have questions, feel free to reach out to (833) 277-7634 or Partner@sofi.com.
Recommended Insurance Agents:
Life, Homeowner's, and Rental Insurance:
Policy Genius is a convenient online way to compare rates amongst multiple lenders without having to call around. They're well regarded in the space and have niche knowledge in life insurance, and can help you go through options.
Direct affilate links:
Use a company that knows concerns for physicians well and will run quotes across the 6 major companies that offer true "own occupation insurance". These are our sponsors, who 1000s of members of our groups have used and said positive things about. It doesn't cost you anything to use them. Additionally, they will often have access to discounts you may not be able to get on your own and can guide you through the various options and riders. For much more detail on how and why to purchase disability insurance, frequently asked questions, specific situations that should be taken into consideration, and more, please visit this page.
Pattern for Disability Insurance: http://www.patternlife.com/partner/psg. This convenient option will allow you to enter your information and immediately begin generating quotes from the major disability companies, as well as schedule a meeting with the Pattern team to discuss the options and figure out which plan is best for you. Many in the group have had a great experience with this process.
Physician Financial Services : They can help with both disability and life insurance. Lawrence Keller and his team are wonderful, and have a lot of experience. They will run quotes across the major disability companies and guide you through the process. Contact them here.
Malpractice and Tail Insurance:
Alera Group: Jason Shah (Jason.Shah@aleragroup.com) is a physician who started a malpractice company, now under the umbrella of Alera - he's great and has helped quite a few members of the group. Really nice person and very honest - we do have a referral relationship, so please mention I sent you if you decide to reach out!
Mortgage and Mortgage Refinancing
*To learn more about conventional loans versus physician loans, mortgage related terminology, and when to refinance, read the Primer on Physician Mortgages here.*
CONVENTIONAL MORTGAGE and MORTGAGE REFINANCE SPONSOR:
Credible: Credible has partnered with Physician Side Gigs to offer options for primary mortgages and mortgage refinancing. Explore options at (affiliate ad link) www.credible.com/physiciansidegigs. NMLS #1681276, in all states except NV, NY, UT, and WA.
PHYSICIAN LOAN MORTGAGE SPONSORS:
Fifth Third Bank: Tony Lupescu (email@example.com) does physician loans. He can do loans in Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio, South Carolina, Tennessee, and West Virginia. NMLS #224410.
Huntington Bank: Tom Raschka (Thomas.Raschka@huntington.com) does physician loans in 40 states (AR, CO, CT, DE, FL, GA, ID, IL, IN, IA, KS, KY, ME, MD, MA, MI, MN, MO, MT, NE, NH, NJ, NM, NC, ND, OH, OK, OR, PA, RI, SC, SD, TN, UT, VT, VA, WA, WV, WI, WY, DC). NMLS #205578.
Laurel Road/Key Bank: (use affiliate link at https://www.laurelroad.com/partnerships/physiciansidegigs/, see below for details on a 0.25% rate discount) - does physician loans in all 50 states and Washington D.C.; Laurel Road is a brand of KeyBank N.A. Equal Housing Lender. NMLS # 399797.
You can get a 0.25% rate discount 1 when you take out a new mortgage or refinance your existing mortgage. For terms and conditions, please visit https://www.laurelroad.com/partnerships/physiciansidegigs/ for further details and get one step closer to enjoying the benefits of homeownership or see what Laurel Road can do for your student loans. Laurel Road is a brand of KeyBank N.A. Equal Housing Lender. NMLS # 399797.
1. The interest rate discount of 0.25% is offered to borrowers that are a Physician Side Gig member at the time of closing. This 0.25% interest rate discount cannot be combined with other offers, except the
Rewards Program. For Fixed-rate mortgages, the 0.25% rate discount is a permanent interest rate reduction that will be reflected in the Promissory Note interest rate. For adjustable-rate mortgages, the 0.25% rate discount will apply to the initial Fixed interest rate period and will be reflected in the maximum amount the interest rate can increase over the term of the loan, subject to the minimum interest rate that may be charged per the terms of the Promissory Note.
Personal Loans/Commercial Loans
Doc2Doc Lending: Doc2Doc Lending has partnered with Physician Side Gigs to provide physicians with fast access to personal loans. It's a novel lending platform created by doctors, for doctors. Doc2Doc loans can be used for a number of reasons: relocation expenses, refinancing of credit card debt, unexpected medical expenses, practice buy-in — you name it. Rather than evaluating potential borrowers based purely on one’s FICO score, Doc2Doc’s algorithm considers doctor-specific factors to gauge one’s creditworthiness, and ultimately, to generate more favorable rates than are typically available at traditional banks. Use our affiliate link at www.doc2doclending.com/psg if you want to apply, as it will provide you with a $100 cash rebate with any newly funded loan, a 0.25% discount if you use auto payment, and your first payment due date held for 30-45 days. They can also help with commercial loans for larger amounts of money - use the same link and click on the option for commercial loans.
Personal Finance Course
This is an excellent online course created by the White Coat Investor, Jim Dahle. It presents information in an easy, digestible format - while still being packed full of pearls that would take much longer to piece together from internet searches. Highly recommended. Topics include: Investment tools and classes, asset allocation, asset protection, real estate, retirement accounts, financial advisors, different types of insurance, student loans. There are two versions of this, one of which qualifies for CME if you have CME money to spend! (PSG affiliate)
Fee only financial planners
While we think that every physician should have a basic foundation in personal finance, we recognize that many want some help to ensure that they're on track with their finance goals and get advice personalized to their financial situation, and periodically review their financially picture, and help manage their portfolios. Personally, we prefer using someone who charges a flat fee instead of a percentage of your assets under management, someone who is a fiduciary, and someone who doesn't sell products.
Some resources from our advertisers are here:
Flat-fee, fee-only fiduciary
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Full advertising disclosure on the page.
Connects you with an independent, fiduciary financial advisor that specializes in healthcare-professional specific financial planning.
Allows you to search their national network for advisors that fit your needs. Please note this platform has both flat fee and AUM advisors. Their fee structure is transparently listed under the matches they provide you, along with other information about each of them, so look at the disclosure pages and the fee structures of any matches before picking one you might want to schedule with.
If you qualify to meet with a Zoe Advisor, we will receive a referral fee at no cost to you. This is not contingent upon your use of the financial advisor or based on the fees that you pay. Full advertising disclosure here.
Personal Finance Tracking Tools - Retirement Planners, Budgeting
Personal Capital (PSG affiliate link, free to sign up) allows tracking your net worth, savings and budgeting planners, cash flow trackers, retirement and education planning, employer plan analysis, and fee trackers. It is convenient and very useful to see if you are on track to meet your goals.
Accounting/Tax Strategy/Business Strategy
Physician Tax Services: Physician Tax Services is one of our sponsors and offers tax planning and strategy services, year round tax services, as well as a free webinar series geared specifically towards physicians and taxes that you can sign up for at https://physiciantaxsolutions.com/PSG-PTS-Webinar-signup/ . In addition to this, they offer a 'Strategic Blueprint (mention PSG for 10% off). In the Blueprint, they have you fill out information about your previous years' taxes and personal/professional situation, and then create a 'blueprint' that outlines places where you can implement tax strategy for tax savings. They will schedule a Zoom with you and explain it in detail. You can then take the prepared blueprint to your normal CPA if you elect to, or choose to use PTS for permanent services. The greatest value here is if you have any sources of NON w2 income.
EY Tax Chat is an on-demand mobile tax preparation service that connects you to tax professionals in an easy to use online environment, making the filing of tax returns simple, fast, and reliable. You can chat via phone if necessary. This is tailored toward people don't want to do-it-yourself or for whom DIY is no longer an option because things have gotten more complicated, but who still want a convenient, cost-effective way to do taxes while having the ability to ask questions from a service powered by Ersnt and Young, an organization with over 100 years experience in tax preparation. (PSG affiliate link)
Anderson Advisors: For those interested in implementing asset protection tools, Anderson offers a comprehensive suite of services, including planning, registered agent, and entity formation. Our affiliate link at http://aba.link/psg will get you a free strategy session to discuss these issues and explore what's right for you, as well as give you access to packages at a discounted rate.
Estate Planning Resources (including Emergency Binder)
This $39 binder is not a substitute for estate planning, but is comprehensive and gives you peace of mind to hand things off to someone in the off-chance that you are not able to. It's a binder or file that you save (can password protect) or print and store in safe that literally lists everything as well as the passwords to access everything - retirement accounts, investment accounts, real estate investments, bills, medical forms, insurance information, etc. Highly recommend. PSG affiliate link: https://emergency-binders.myshopify.com?sca_ref=1453823.GJVxwHiPYF
Much of this information is taken directly from the IRS website.
Depending on your modified AGI (annual gross income), you may qualify to contribute to a Roth IRA. Check here for income requirements. Residents and fellows will generally qualify unless they have a high income spouse or other sources of significant income. This is a great way to put away money while you are in a lower tax bracket and minimally taxed on your contribution, but then have tax free growth. It is generally encouraged to do if you qualify.
You cannot deduct contributions to a Roth IRA, but qualified distributions are tax-free.
You can make contributions to your Roth IRA after you reach age 70 ½, assuming you meet income criteria (most physicians will not if they are working as a full time attending physician).
You can leave amounts in your Roth IRA as long as you live.
If you don't qualify because you make more income, consider a backdoor ROTH as an alternative option.
Accounts for employed physicians
401(k) - feature of a qualified profit-sharing plan that allows employees to contribute a portion of their wages to individual accounts. The employee can contribute up $20,500 in 2022 ($19,500 in 2021). Employers can contribute to employees’ accounts.
Traditional 401k - Elective salary deferrals are excluded from the employee’s taxable income (lowering your tax burden in the contributing years), but distributions, including earnings, are includible in taxable income at retirement
Roth 401k - You pay taxes in the year earned and the contribution goes in as post tax dollars, so the money you put in and its growth are not taxed with distributions at retirement. However, your employer match is subject to taxes, since they put in the their money with pre-tax dollars.
Other types of 401k are listed here.
We often get the question of whether someone should pick the traditional 401k versus the Roth 401k option. Nobody has a crystal ball about what tax rates will be at retirement, so there's no absolute answer. The thinking behind those that choose the traditional option is that they anticipate being in a lower tax bracket at retirement than they currently are, and thus it makes sense to save on taxes now and pay taxes at a lower tax bracket later. Those arguing for the ROTH option would contend that they save the tax on the growth of the money they put in (remember, they still have to pay taxes on the employer's contribution). Since it's hard to project which one comes out ahead, many choose to split their money between the two options. Not every employer offers a Roth option.
403(b) - retirement plan offered by public schools and certain 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organizations (including some hospitals). Employees and employers can contribute. The deferred salary is generally not subject to federal or state income tax until it's distributed, unless it offers a Roth option (taxed currently but is tax-free including earnings when distributed). Pros and cons are:
Flexibility in contributions
Investment options are limited to those chosen by the employer
may have high administrative costs
optional loans and hardship distributions add flexibility for employees
457b - available for certain state and local governments and non-governmental entities tax exempt under IRC Section 501. They can be either eligible plans under IRC 457(b). Plans eligible under 457(b) allow employees of sponsoring organizations to defer income taxation on retirement savings into future years
A potential downside that is often brought up on the forums is that 457s are accessible to your employer's creditors. If you are concerned about the long term financial stability of your institution, this may be something to consider when deciding to contribute.
Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) - defined contribution plan designed to resemble the 401(k) open to employees of the US civil service employees and members of the uniformed services. Employees of the VA have this as one of the components of their retirement package. One big advantage is low fees. This Wikipedia piece goes over it in depth, including available investment options and the various funds.
Profit-Sharing Plan - If you are a partner in your practice, you may have the option to participate in one of these. It allows you to put up the lesser of 100% of compensation or $61,000 for 2022 ($58,000 for 2021; $57,000 for 2020, subject to cost-of-living adjustments for later years).
Accounts for self-employed or side gig income
The following options are some of the options that seem to be most popular amongst group members. The information is taken from this page on the IRS website, which has a great overview of these and additional options, and which has links to relevant forms and additional information.
SEP (Simplified Employee Pension) IRA - can contribute as much as 25% of your net earnings from self-employment (not including contributions for yourself), up to $61,000 for 2022 ($58,000 for 2021, $57,000 for 2020 and $56,000 for 2019)
Note that if you use this option, you will NOT be able to do the backdoor ROTH, which many physicians like to do for additional tax advantaged options.
Make annual salary deferrals up to $20,500 in 2022, ($19,500 in 2021 and in 2020; $19,000 in 2019), plus an additional $6,500 in 2022, in 2021 and in 2020 ($6,000 in 2015 - 2019) if you're 50 or older either on a pre-tax basis or as designated Roth contributions.
Contribute up to an additional 25% of your net earnings from self-employment for total contributions of $61,000 for 2022 ($58,000 for 2021; $57,000 for 2020 and $56,000 for 2019), including salary deferrals.
Note, you are generally required to file an annual report on Form 5500-EZ if it has $250,000 or more in assets at the end of the year. A one-participant plan with fewer assets may be exempt from the annual filing requirement
Traditional pension plan with a stated annual benefit you will receive at retirement, usually based on salary and years of service.
Benefit may also be defined based on a cash balance formula in a hypothetical individual account (a cash balance plan).
Maximum annual benefit can be up to $245,000 for 2022 ($230,000 for 2021 and for 2020; $225,000 for 2019).
Contributions are calculated by an actuary based on the benefit you set and other factors (your age, expected returns on plan investments, etc.); no other annual contribution limit applies.
These are quite complicated, require actuarial calculations, and relevant expertise. You cannot do this yourself. They are expensive to set up and maintain, but given the significant contribution capabilities, can be powerful tax strategy tools if you have enough side income or 1099 income to support larger contributions.
Additional resources are available at the IRS website at https://www.irs.gov/retirement-plans. Some other commonly asked questions are on these pages:
Required minimum distributions (RMDs) - when you will have to take money out of your retirement accounts.
Backdoor Roth tutorial:
Physician on FIRE (Financial Independence Retire Early) has an easy, step by step guide to the Backdoor IRA, which is a great financial tool for physicians. Check it out here: https://www.physicianonfire.com/backdoor/
Disclosure: We may receive compensation through clicks to our affiliate programs through this website, or we may receive compensation through advertising and sponsorships from commercial businesses. These help support the existence and mission of the group (at no cost to you), but I genuinely feel they are helpful resources! This disclosure is intended to comply with the US Federal Trade Commission Rules on marketing and advertising, as well as any other legal requirements which may apply. Any decision to do business with these companies is purely your own. We are not licensed real estate professionals, business, accounting, legal, or investment advisors. You should do your own due diligence if applicable.
This page contains an advertisement from a third-party advertiser, Credible Operations, Inc., which is licensed as a mortgage broker in some, but not all, states (see https://www.credible.com/a/mortgage/licenses). Information contained herein is provided for illustrative purposes only, without any representations or warranty as to its accuracy or applicability to you. All credit requests are subject to review and approval, and your actual loan terms will depend on your financial situation. Credible Operations, Inc. is solely responsible for the content of its advertisement and the services it provides.