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Handling Financial Stress as a Physician

Sebastien Chevrier - Nov 19, 2020
Finances have been reported as the second leading cause of physician depression. Here are some tips to reduce stress over finances for physicians.

Finances have been reported as the second leading cause of physician depression

It was recently reported that Canadians spend an average of two hours per day worrying about their finances. Now, couple that with all of the pressures that come with being a physician, from responsibility for patients to student debt and oftentimes, the stress of running your own practice. Is it any wonder that in 2018, a survey found that finances are the second-largest cause of depression amongst physicians? It’s also key to note that this was two years before the outbreak of COVID-19 heaped additional layers of worry onto everyone’s life but in particular those in the medical field. So as a physician, how do you cope with lessening one of the largest factors influencing mental health in your industry? We have some tips below.

Ensure your wealth management strategy is straightforward, efficient, and easy to understand

As a practicing physician, you’re likely busy at the best of times. This is why it’s so important to set a plan with your financial advisor that incorporates your unique financial needs, challenges, and schedule. Your plan shouldn’t look like every other Canadian’s, and that means asking your advisor to create tailored resources and processes that work for you.

Work with an advisor you can trust

If you keep a schedule typical of most physicians, your free time likely isn’t abundant. That means choosing an advisor that you can trust over the long term. Beyond a strong reputation for wealth management, working with one that puts integrity, honesty, and care at the forefront of their offerings is vital to being able to lessen your anxieties about the state of your finances. You can usually spot this type of advisor by the amount of listening they do; do they ask about your current situation, personal financial values, and future goals? Are they upfront about what they can and cannot provide? Do you feel more like you’re participating in a conversation rather than being sold something? These are usually strong signs that you’re working with an advisor committed to doing what’s best for you.

Make sure that your plan covers all aspects of your financial life

It’s much easier to distance yourself from constant finance worries when you know the plan you built with your advisor covers all aspects of your situation. If your current plan is solely focused on short and rapid growth, that’s a recipe for many sleepless nights when markets turn emotional. Instead, work on creating something comprehensive, which includes such things as strategies to pay off debt, manage risk, maximize wealth and plan for retirement, and make sure it serves as a roadmap to achieving all your financial goals.

Set up scheduled check-ins, spaced out far enough to relax but close enough to feel in control. 

 

It’s important to occasionally reassess your plan, goals, and progress, but doing so frequently will ensure thoughts of financial stress never leave your head. Setting up quarterly, semi-annual or even annual meetings (based on your personal preference) allow you to distance yourself from these worries, with the knowledge that the next check-in is never that far away.

 

Confidence can do wonders for your financial stress

By taking the above considerations into account, you can build a wealth management plan that you can feel confident in; and with confidence comes peace of mind. Knowing that you and your advisor have built a straightforward, well-rounded plan that comes complete with regular check-ins will allow you to reduce the daily stress that so many feel regarding their financial strategies, be they physicians or otherwise. These days, in particular, such benefits cannot be overlooked.

If you are looking for assistance with your financial plan, we are here to support you.

Contact us to learn more.

As part of Financial Literacy Month, we will be sharing regular financial posts on both our blog and Twitter. Don’t forget to check back often!