RCGP calls for an end to the ‘vicious cycle’ of unfair funding for GP training

RCGP calls for an end to the ‘vicious cycle’ of unfair funding for GP training

July 10 2018 General practice should have the same level of funding as hospitals for hosting...

GMS ready reckoner published

GMS ready reckoner published

4 July 2018 A General Medical Services (GMS) Ready Reckoner has been produced giving GMS...

Scotland update Golden Hello arrangements for GPs

Scotland update Golden Hello arrangements for GPs

June 29 2018 The documentation for the Golden Hello scheme for GPs has been updated to make...

Extra £20m funding will go hand-in-hand with a new 10-year plan for the NHS

Extra £20m funding will go hand-in-hand with a new 10-year plan for the NHS

June 18 2018 Theresa May’s announcement of a £20.5 billion real-terms increase for...

  • RCGP calls for an end to the ‘vicious cycle’ of unfair funding for GP training

    RCGP calls for an end to the ‘vicious cycle’ of unfair funding for GP training

    Tuesday, 10 July 2018 09:39
  • GMS ready reckoner published

    GMS ready reckoner published

    Wednesday, 04 July 2018 15:22
  • Scotland update Golden Hello arrangements for GPs

    Scotland update Golden Hello arrangements for GPs

    Friday, 29 June 2018 15:11
  • Extra £20m funding will go hand-in-hand with a new 10-year plan for the NHS

    Extra £20m funding will go hand-in-hand with a new 10-year plan for the NHS

    Monday, 18 June 2018 17:31

financialplanning

Reviewing your finances never stops

 

Looking after your finances can be a daunting task. With so many options, from savings and investments to managing debts and repayments, it can quickly become complicated.

Faced with a changing pensions landscape, retirement planning can be particularly complicated for doctors. Here we will look at some of the main concerns facing doctors and their finances and what can be done to ease them.

Plan ahead

The first step is to plan what you want for your financial future. Whether its short-term goals, like clearing credit cards or loans, or long-term ambitions such as saving for retirement, only once a target has been set can you be realistic about what steps you need to take. From our experience, common goals for doctors include paying for a new car, the holiday of a lifetime or a deposit for their children’s first home.

It’s also important to have a rainy day fund to help cope with any unplanned emergencies, whether it’s a car break down or repairs to your home. Protecting yourself with an income protection policy can also ensure you will still receive an income if you’re unable to work because of an accident or illness.

Saving for the future

Research carried out by Wesleyan last year showed doctors are good savers, with nine out of 10 saving regularly, with the average savings pot standing at £29,500. But even with these good habits, it is still important to shop around to ensure you get the best returns on your investments.

The Bank of England base rate has been stuck at a record low of 0.5% since March 2009. For savers, this means any money put aside in accounts linked to the base rate has not generally grown as much as it would if it had been invested in other products linked to the stock market, such as stocks and shares ISAs or investment funds.

ISAs should be at the core of any savings plan, as they can be suitable for both short and long term savings. You won’t have to pay income or capital gains tax on the interest or growth earned on your money when you come to withdraw it.

For short term savings, it is likely you will want easy access to your money, so a Cash ISA will be preferable as they are they are not subject to short-term stock market volatility and the capital value is more secure.

But when saving for long term goals, such as paying for a new car or a deposit for your children’s first home, then it is worth considering share, or equity-based investments, such as a Stocks & Shares ISA. When investing in shares you should be prepared to leave your money in for at least five years.

You should also be clear about how much risk you are prepared to take with your money – with higher risk there is usually the potential for greater reward, but it may also mean there’s a greater risk you’ll get back less than you put in. There are a variety of options depending on your risk appetite. One option may be something like Wesleyan’s With Profits ISA. This is an investment in a with profits fund that has been designed to limit the exposure to the rise and fall of the stock market.

With all savings and investments, it is important to review them on a regular basis to ensure you are receiving the returns you need and expected.

Managing Debts

Managing debt is just as important as managing your savings. Whether they are debts from your student days, or loans you have taken out once you have qualified, the interest you are paying on them will normally be more than the interest you are receiving on your savings, so it is in your best interests to clear them as soon as you can.

Start by making a list of everything you owe, including unpaid bills, money owed on credit cards and any loans you may have taken out, then prioritise. This doesn’t necessarily mean repaying the biggest debt first. You might consider the consequences of not paying certain debts such as penalties or charges, and then focus on those charging the highest rate of interest.

Speaking to a financial adviser can help to make your options clear, whether those are how to cope with increasing monthly payments, or consolidating loans to bring the cost of borrowing down.

Retirement

For most, the main long-term goal will be saving for retirement and it’s important that plans are put in place so that the money set aside will be enough to last once you stop practising.

Also, the recent reduction of the lifetime Allowance from £1.25m to £1m is likely to affect many doctors, some of which will be unaware of the change, and how quickly they could reach the new limit, so it’s important to plan your retirement carefully to try to mitigate hefty tax charges. Regardless of your current pension arrangements, talking to a financial adviser with expertise of the medical profession can help you to check you are saving enough, and if not, work out what you can do to get back on track.

Conclusion

Financial planning can be complex and time consuming. However, just as your patients come to you for the best medical advice and treatment, you too should seek out expert advice for finances.


The above information does not constitute financial advice. For more information about planning your finances and to talk to a Financial Consultant e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., visit the website or call 0800 092 1990.

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