Holistic Financial Planning for Chiropractors
The money you earn today – this month, this year – can have a transformative effect on your future and the people you cherish. That said, today’s busy chiropractors often lack the time or expertise necessary to take a comprehensive approach when it comes to financial planning. Protecting and building your wealth requires a team of professionals who can create a coordinated strategy to ensure a lifetime of financial success.
Most of us have experienced financial planning on an ad hoc basis: when to buy or sell a certain investment or setting up an IRA, for example. But when considering financial planning or wealth management, a deeper journey is required. The challenges of today’s healthcare professionals are complex and may involve debt avoidance, equity creation, tax mitigation, income insurance, investment strategies, and more. For this reason, it’s important to seek out a financial advisor who will coordinate all of the various aspects of your financial life to reflect your goals. Remember: this is not simply about asset management. More important, it’s about your values.
You would never treat one part of the body without considering the whole. Similarly, the best financial advisors are committed to gaining a holistic sense of each client’s needs. Besides inquiring into your income, savings, debt burden, and current investments, they should ask questions such as:
- What’s important to you about money?
- What are your personal goals?
- What are your professional goals?
- What do you do (or want to do) for your children?
- Ideally, where would you like to be when you are 45? 55? 65? 75?
- What are your quality-of-life desires (houses, travel, boats, cars)?
- How often do you want an overall review of your financial situation and progress toward your goals?
- What charitable causes do you donate to? Volunteer for?
- What do you want to do for the world at large?
This broad inquiry is a crucial step in creating customized financial services and solutions that address your needs as a successful chiropractor. Because, like the body, the various aspects of your financial life are interdependent and require thoughtful care and maintenance.
Still, it can be tempting to put off comprehensive financial planning for another day, especially when immediate concerns such as patient retention, marketing strategies, and monthly cash flow issues are top of mind. Where do you start? When considering the “big picture” of smart wealth management, it can be helpful to break it down into the following simple formula:
Wealth Management = Investment Consulting + Advanced Planning + Relationship Management. WM = IC + AP + RM
- Investment Consulting
Sound investment strategies can help grow and preserve your wealth. A continual assessment of where your assets can best perform, taking into account time horizons and risk tolerance, is the foundation of savvy financial planning.
- Advanced Planning
Beyond investing, there are other financial challenges that are of importance to today’s successful chiropractors. These include: Wealth Enhancement (managing cash flow and tax mitigation), Wealth Transfer (passing down wealth), Wealth Protection (risk mitigation and insurance), and Charitable Giving (supporting a cause/s that are personally meaningful.
- Relationship Management
Your needs are varied and will change over time. These interrelated challenges will require the ongoing coordination and collaboration between a team of trusted legal, tax, insurance, and investment advisors.
Though vital, too few chiropractors approach their financial lives from this holistic perspective. Instead they – often unwittingly – allow things to fall through the cracks. This unfortunate reality can lead to a myriad of problems such as paying too much in taxes, not being able to retire on time, loss of financial freedom, ongoing stress around money, and not being able to pass on wealth as desired.
The other option: positioning your money to achieve that which you value the most – peace of mind and financial freedom for you and your family.
Like many professionals, you’ve likely worked with – or are currently working with – a financial advisor. Still, you may wonder if the guidance you are receiving is fully addressing your needs. Ask yourself: is my financial advisor looking beyond my portfolio to take into account my values and goals? Is he or she communicating across the entire spectrum of professionals to coordinate solutions for my specific challenges? If not, seeking a second opinion can be a proactive step toward taking charge of your financial life.
Whether you’re just out of school, in the middle of building your practice, or are on the verge of retirement – smart financial planning is a responsibility as well as a privilege. You owe it to yourself and your loved ones to find the right person to guide you through the often- confusing and intimidating waters of wealth management. Because, like the well-being of your patients, the power to achieve your goals is in your hands.