Financial planning is not a commodity but a method. Financial planning is a long-term strategy to intelligently manage your money. It will help you achieve your financial goals and avoid the financial roadblocks that are inevitable at each stage of your life.
Midwifery is full of change, challenge and reward. It seems like one can suddenly see a rise in income and be able to pursue financial goals and personal dreams. This is only possible after years of hard work, low pay, and, for many, student loans. Financial freedom is not something you can achieve overnight. It takes consistent effort, energy, and time. Financial planning is essential for doctors and medical residents. A poorly designed financial plan can cost a midwife valuable time.
Key Steps to Draw Up Financial Plan
- Assess your Situation
- A good first step when developing your financial plan is to assess your financial situation. With a clear understanding of your current financial situation, you can decide where you should start from, and what you need to achieve your financial goals.
- Knowing your net worth is important to assessing your financial situation. Start by making a list of all your assets as well as your liabilities.
- Net worth is broadly calculated as your assets minus your liabilities. Assets are what you own, including savings, property, investments; and liabilities are what you owe, such as mortgage loans, tax bills and outstanding debts.
- Create a Budget
- Track the ins and outs of your money to understand your money habits and take control of your spending and savings. Prioritize your needs and wants and look for any unnecessary expenses you can cut to save money. Also refrain from overspending especially impulse buying by credit card. Before you decide to borrow money, make sure you can afford new debt repayments on top of your current expenses or commitments.
- Set your Financial Goals
- Based on a sound understanding of your financial situation, you may be able to identify your short-, medium- and long-term financial goals. This will help you review your budget, determine your investment time frame and work out a strategy for deciding on the appropriate investments. With measurable and clearly defined goals, it will be easier to monitor the progress.
- Know your Risk Tolerance
- An important part of your financial planning is to evaluate your tolerance for risks. Risk is the potential threat that may impact the expected outcome of your investments. Investments that deliver potentially higher returns are usually accompanied by higher risks. Are you willing to accept potential losses in exchange for greater potential gains?
- Work out and Implement a Basic Financial Plan
- Future consumption Future consumption includes life events such as furthering education, getting married, purchasing property, having children, supporting parents, changing careers, starting business or retirement. These expenses may deplete your assets and can be long-term financial commitments.
- Insurance. Unexpected incidents or emergencies in life such as accidents, illness and death can deplete your savings and erode your assets. Having adequate insurance coverage for these eventualities should be a key component of your financial planning. As a minimum, consider critical illness and accident/disability insurance. You should also consider setting up an emergency fund to cover about three to six months of living expenses.
- Responsible borrowing. Responsible borrowing is an integral part of financial planning. Paying by credit card is convenient. Personal loans and mortgage for example, can help you achieve your financial goals; but over-indebtedness can jeopardize your life plan. The key thing is to make sure you are in control of credit, not the other way around. Your past credit record may also affect your cost of borrowing in the future.
- Retirement planning. Retirement planning is the process of determining how you will set aside enough money so you can enjoy life after you stop working. Creating a retirement plan will help you determine how much money you will need after you retire, and help manage your finances to cover expenses in later years.
- Estate planning. Preparing for the worst may be unpleasant, but it is an essential part of your long-term financial planning. In the event of serious illness, disability or death, it is important that your finances are in order so your family can be better prepared to meet life’s challenges and emergencies
- Regularly Review and Adjust your Financial Plan
- After formulating a financial plan, you should exercise strict discipline to follow the plan. Review your existing budget and investment portfolio from time to time to make sure they still fit your needs. In meeting your financial goals, it is considered best practice to review the performance of your portfolio regularly and rebalance your investments when necessary. This can help you avoid keeping a portfolio that may over-concentrate on certain asset classes.
- Financial planning is a dynamic and continuous process. You should adjust your plan when there are significant changes in market conditions or when you enter a different life stage. You should make adjustments based on your resources, needs and situations to make sure your plan is in line with your financial goals.
Great financial planner resource that has had homebirths with midwife and wife is a doula / future midwife! He is my personal financial planner and dear friend to me and many midwives. Chris Arnone is a GREAT RESOURCE for any midwife looking for financial guidance and support: Chris Arnone – Portage, MI 49002 | Northwestern Mutual https://www.northwesternmutual.com/financial/advisor/chris-arnone/
Financial Planning Booklet. (n.d.). Retrieved November 15, 2022, from https://www.ifec.org.hk/web/common/pdf/publication/en/IEC-financial-planning-booklet.pd