Magdelena Harding, Financial Advisor for Wesleyan, shares the common areas that are stopping the UK’s young dentists achieving financial security…
During the uncertain times we face as a dental community, actively and effectively planning is crucial in achieving a financially secure future. We explore the barriers that are stopping you from achieving your potential in this particular field as a newly qualified or relatively inexperienced dentist to help you overcome them and position yourself well to achieve your goals.
Start sooner rather than later
A question that is regularly asked of financial consultants is ‘what time is best to start planning?’, and the answer is simply: as soon as you can. By doing this, you’ll give yourself the time needed to accomplish the milestones you want to achieve during your lifetime.
Take time to make a ‘snapshot’ of your current financial position to provide a firm foundation on which you can create your plan. You need to fully understand your current assets, retirement fund and your trajectory in your career. This will allow you to make a more informed decision on financial opportunities and services that will help you on your way.
Understand what your goals are
A key element in successful financial planning is sitting down and understanding what you want to achieve throughout your career – do you want to own your own practice someday or would you like to own your own home? These are the kinds of considerations that are instrumental in creating an effective financial plan.
Without a clear understanding of your goals and having a timeline in place for when you want to achieve them, you won’t be certain that your plan is moving you in the right direction and within the right timeframe.
Recognise yourself as an asset
You are an asset to your own financial plan as an income generator with a unique skillset. Protecting your income is often a step that is widely overlooked by younger dentists and is particularly important after so much personal cost to you in terms of training and finances.
Most dentists’ financial planning hinges on their ability to practise and utilise the knowledge and training acquired, often at great cost to themselves. Without income protection in place, if anything were to go awry and impede your ability to practise, your other aspirations may fall by the wayside.
Discussing income protection with an advisor is a great way to look at ways in which you can cover yourself in the event of an injury or other circumstances that may stop you working.
Get help from the right people
It’s important to have the right person who you can trust, with the right expertise and experience to help you make financial decisions for your future.
Having an advisor that understands your career path can make all the difference. Dentists have unique financial planning requirements that go hand in hand with a complex income. The NHS pension is a particularly complex area where a financial advisor with experience in the dental industry will be better placed to help.
Regularly review your plan
To fully see the benefit of financial planning, it’s best to maintain a relationship with a financial advisor throughout your career. Regular catchups every 12 to 18 months or whenever you experience considerable lifestyle changes should allow you to reach your goals. This is particularly important in the current COVID-19 climate, which is causing so many changes across the financial market.
This isn’t so that you overhaul your financial plan at each review; it will simply provide reassurance that the assets, protection and investments in place are adequate to help you reach your goals. If they’re not, you will then be able to make informed adjustments.
There’s nothing to lose by following the tips laid out by Wesleyan’s specialist financial advisors, but there is potentially a lot to gain in terms of helping you reach your goals.
If you would like to find out more valuable information about planning your financial future more effectively, you can visit www.wesleyan.co.uk and Wesleyan’s financial advisors will be happy to support you.
Magdelena took part in a webinar for our ‘Practice Plan Presents: The Financial Experts’ series. The next will be taking place Thursday 17th September 1.15pm – 1.45pm. Book your place here.