One of the hardest parts of a medical track is understanding how much should a doctor invest. You’re on the farthest thing from a traditional career path, so who do you ask?
1. Don’t ask your parents
Your parents will probably be the first people you ask before you ask friends or visit personal finance websites. If you ask your parents how much should a doctor invest and they are somewhat financially savvy, they will tell you to invest 10-15% of your post-tax income. If you want to live really well in retirement, they will tell you to push to invest 20% of your net income. The reason they might tell you this is because it is the most widely cited recommended amount to invest. Guess what? They’re wrong.
Those numbers are for standard career paths that begin after 4 years of undergrad. Going to medical school and completing a residency is the farthest thing from being a “standard.”
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Is it financially worth it to become a family practice doctor or should you be a physician’s assistant (PA)? The family practice doctor has a higher salary but takes much longer to start earning his salary and has higher debt levels and taxes. The PA, on the other hand, earns less but has lower debt levels and taxes and can start investing 5 years earlier. This is a purely financial showdown: PA vs family practice doctor.
Let’s look at this from 2 standpoints. (1) A financially savvy person and (2) a not as financially savvy person.
Lastly, this is not meant to sway anyone into either field. Much more important personal factors are autonomy and length of schooling desired, as well as desired flexibility to switch specialties mid-career. I made this only because I was always curious.
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