Financial concerns are a big stressor for many future medical professionals. On March 24, the student organization Business and Leadership in Medical Practices (BLIMP) hosted Brett Luce and Raz Pounardjian of Carnegie Investment Counsel in Pepper Pike to introduce students to the world of investments. Topics in the presentation “Show Me the Money: Personal Finance for the Future Medical Professional” included the stock market, retirement planning and how to fund an investment plan while also paying student loans.
The takeaway message from the speakers? Start saving (and investing) early. For many starting out, this means contributing to an employer-sponsored retirement plan, such as a 401(k)or 403(b). These retirement plans allow an individual to contribute a specific amount each year, which their employer often will match. For example, if the employee invests a percentage of their salary into their retirement account, then the employer will contribute an equal amount, up to a specified percentage. Both speakers recommended contributing the maximum percentage that the employer will match, unless it is absolutely not possible.
A Roth IRA presents another option for retirement saving; however, eligibility to contribute to this investment is determined by a salary limit—currently $117,000. Essentially, the speakers suggested, new graduates should find out what their employer offers for retirement, look for alternative options if needed or desired, and start saving as soon as possible.
Luce and Pounardjian also suggested that students plan to find a financial advisor in the future. As medical professionals, there is limited time to learn the ins and outs of finance, so having an outside party help manage assets may be a good fit. The speakers recommended consulting coworkers and friends to help find credible financial advisors.
While students may worry that more years in school means less time for our investments to grow, Pounardjian noted there are options to help us begin building a smart savings plan upon graduation. Additionally, numerous resources exist to help each person make the financial decisions that are best for them.
For more information on BLIMP, contact Mary McDaniel, email@example.com.
--BLIMP officers Jill Mohr, Mary McDaniel, Sarah Paul and Brianna Rea contributed this report.