Below are a few books that provide financial education for doctors and help them to live better lives, free from worries about money.
1. The Power of Zero: How to Get to 0% Tax Bracket and Transform Your Retirement — by David McKnight
For decades, conventional wisdom has been that individuals should stash away as much money as possible into tax-deferred options, such as 401(k)s and IRAs, while they are working. The theory is you will have less income during retirement and, thus, fall into a lower tax bracket.
The Power of Zero, updated with a new chapter on the 2018 tax cuts, challenges these assumptions. It suggests that due to the US Government’s rampant spending and failure to fund programs such as Social Security and Medicare, maintaining the country’s solvency will require steep increases in taxes. As the US is forced to confront this reality, the question doctors must ask is how deeply future tax rates might cut into their hard-earned savings.
Read this book to find out how to build wealth that can be withdrawn tax-free in retirement.
2. Physician Wealth Management Made Easy: How to Build and Protect Your Wealth in Uncertain Times by Michael Zhuang
As principal of a financial advisory firm that handles wealth management for physicians, Michael Zhuang has unique insight into their struggles. Through his business, he discovered that it was fairly common for doctors to live in financial chaos due to lack of time and know-how. This book offers a blueprint for physicians to manage wealth wherever they are in their career journey, from getting started to succession planning and retirement. It includes advice on minimizing taxes, investing safely, shielding assets and selecting financial advisors.
While financial matters can be dry, Zhang keeps his advice down to earth and engages readers with storytelling and humor (he’s a standup comedian on the side.)
3. The Doctors Guide to Eliminating Debt by Dr. Cory S. Fawcett
The premise of this book is that too many doctors are drowning in debt, yet with a little guidance have the power to liberate themselves from it. Fawcett tackles how to eliminate student loan debt as well as less conventional advice about paying off your mortgage.
Highly motivational and easy-to-read, this book teaches readers to become debt-free by working smarter, not harder. Fawcett talks about how to map out a plan that balances debts, expenses and investments. The goal is for doctors to have compound interest working for them rather than against them. Once physicians reach debt-free status, they stop letting banks take a cut of their paychecks in the form of interest. Also, they can reach their wealth accumulation target more rapidly and achieve financial freedom.
4. Pillars of Wealth: Personal Finance Essentials for Medical Professionals by Yuval Dan Bar-Or, Ph.D.
Bar-Or is a financial risk management expert from a medical family. In Pillars of Wealth, he goes beyond the sound bites of financial advice to explore the nuances, recognizing there is no one size fits all approach to money management. Just as most medical professionals would advise preventive rather than reactive healthcare, he advocates taking a proactive approach to financial wellbeing. Bar-Or offers a straightforward methodology to personal finances that helps physicians make healthier financial decisions.
5. The White Coat Investor by James M. Dahle, MD
Written by an emergency physician, The White Coat Investor is for residents, medical students, doctors and dentists. Published in 2014, it’s still receiving rave reviews. Medical professionals appreciate that Dahle understands their issues, including paying off student debt, providing for their families, purchasing homes, building wealth and protecting it.
This practical book is a good starting place for physicians to learn about financial obstacles and opportunities they may encounter through their professional and life journey. On the personal side, Dahle recommends emphasizing saving over keeping up with the Joneses, and on the investment side, he advocates focusing on index funds. Dahle also hones in on issues physicians face, such as protecting assets from lawsuits and the financial implications of the legal structures for private practice. So pick it up for a roadmap of financial advice.
Although doctors have little spare time, they should invest just a few hours reading one or more of these engaging, advice-packed books. Following the guidance of these pros, could have a significant impact on their financial security and happiness.