There is no doubt that doctors in private practice face many different challenges and complexity.
Let’s have a look at some of the most important financial issues you will be facing when running your private practice.
If you are not employed in any way, and run a private practice, personal deductible contributions would allow you to grow your super and save income tax at the same time. If your income is higher than $300,000 though, you will be slugged with the Division 293 tax and pay and extra 15% tax on any concessional contributions.
You may decide to buy your owns rooms through super and borrow funds to complete the purchase. It is imperative you seek advice, as this is a very complex transaction that you cannot afford to get wrong.
For doctors in private practice, you need to realise that you basically are a small business owner as much as you are a medical specialist. Unfortunately, you never received any training or education in business and staff management. You may need to hire a practice manager, so you can focus on your income-producing activities. You may still be primarily responsible for marketing and business development though, as this is difficult to outsource as a doctor. Ideally, you would review your financial statements every month, to see how the practice is performing from an income and expenses point of view. You cannot afford to take your eye off the ball, also to prevent any employee embezzlement. Click HERE for further information on this topic.
Investment and wealth accumulation
You should have a good, consistent income by now, which allows you to put in place long-term wealth creation strategies. A popular way for doctors to invest is to use leverage or gearing. Basically, you are borrowing to either invest in property, shares or managed funds. The interest on the loan and any investment-related expenses should be tax deductible, and you are making more money work for you. Please be mindful though that gearing magnifies returns but also losses. You should seek advice before implementing any borrowing strategy. Click HERE to read more.
Doctors in private practice typically have a few different finance facilities, including a home loan, investment loans, equipment and/or fit-out loans. You need to review your facilities on a regular basis to ensure you are still being offered competitive terms, but also to check whether the facilities match your requirements and plans, for example to fund expansion. You may need to engage a specialist to undertake this review for you.
You should consider every asset purchase not only from a tax point of view, but also with asset protection in mind. You can read more about this topic HERE.
Summary – key financial issues for doctors in private practice
This stage is all about making sure your practice runs smoothly, but it also an opportune time to make the most of your personal finances, by leveraging off your consistent, good cash flow.
About Yves Schoof
I specialise in medical financial planning and coordinating the financial affairs of medical professionals. I have been recognised as one of the Top 10 financial planners in Perth and Australia. I am a Certified Financial Planner and member of the Financial Planning Association of Australia.
As I understand your time is extremely valuable and scarce, I am able to offer flexible meetings times, including outside business hours and during the weekend. I can even come and meet you somewhere convenient, or talk via videoconference on Skype.
My first consultation is free. I allocate up to 90 minutes to discuss your personal circumstances and to establish how I may best assist you. Where you already have an existing adviser, I would be happy to offer a second opinion. I always quote a fixed dollar fee before we start working together.
Please contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org or call me direct on 0432 885 295. You can follow me on Twitter @YvesSchoof or connect with me on Linkedin to receive new articles.
Yves Schoof and Affluence Private Wealth are Authorised Representatives of Synchron, AFS Licence No. 243313. The information posted is intended to be general in nature and is not personal financial product advice. It does not take into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. Before acting on any information, you should consider the appropriateness of the information provided and the nature of the relevant financial product having regard to your objectives, financial situation and needs. In particular, you should seek independent financial advice and read the relevant product disclosure statement (PDS) or other offer document prior to making a decision.
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