What Women (Doctors)want- is Financial Wellness!

women financial wellness

Why Money Management is important for a Woman? Do all Women feel the same way and seek financial freedom or are the reasons different for professionals like Doctors? It is a common notion that Women are more careful with money but do they feel confident in the Money matters?

What do Doctors (Women) feel about their Finances? How well they do their Investments, do they follow some spending budget, do they participate in family financial planning? How confident are they with their finances?

The above are some of the questions that I was trying to find answers to while asking them to some of my doctor contacts. It’s not a Survey, but just wanted to understand, when they earn well, live well, spend well, what are their feelings on “Managing Well”? How good they feel about their own financial planning and what are their thoughts and advice to the Peer group.

This Women’s day I would like to share some views of Women Doctors. You will definitely find the difference in thoughts depending on their respective life stages and experiences.  But the two common things that you find in these opinions are Financial wellness and Financial Freedom.

Dr. Meenakshi Mandal – General Surgeon -PGI Chandigarh

Amidst the never-ending tug of war between “I need to save money” and “We only live once “, most of us either compromise on our dreams at an early stage or are rendered helpless during indispensable situations. 

I started planning my finances about a year ago, when, after having been on a regular salary/stipend for over 2 years, I realized that I would always be on an opening account balance by the end of every month.

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And now, for me, money management is as important as earning it.

To be able to channelize my money for my dreams and goals gives immense satisfaction.

As a woman, my financial independence is as important as my social independence. Being a young medical professional too, we have to invest in ourselves and our health- to be able to give our best. And of course, it comes with a cost.

(Also Read: Financial Planning Tips for Young Doctors)

Gone are those days when a woman’s money would be managed by her husband/father/son. So, ladies, keep a track of those account statements, learn about those taxes you’re paying, venture into those mutual fund investments which seem gibberish to you, and discover a better, more confident, and empowered version of yourselves.

Dr. Aditi Goel – MD, Pathology – New Delhi

Good Money Management is very important to be Independent in True Sense.

When you are working hard to earn money, your money should also be working hard to provide you the comfort and peace that you expect from your life. You should invest it well and be totally aware of its whereabouts, without your Husband’s help.

Life is uncertain, you need to be better prepared for unexpected situations like spouse’s demise or Accidents or situations like COVID-19 that we have recently experienced. Good financial planning will support you to handle such situations with confidence.

In today’s scenario of gender equality, women cannot or should not be “Parasite” on her man for her financial needs. Career goals are as important as Money Goals, and I consider them as a part of my Financial planning as we doctors need to stay updated always with the medical developments.

And when your husband also understands this and would like you to be part of the Financial journey, and always discuss with you the WHY of What he is doing, the confidence doubles, and the journey becomes smooth.   

Have Common Goals and work towards Important goals like old age planning, but if you have independent goals too then do not ignore them. Plan to achieve them too for real happiness.

Dr. Rupinder Kaur Sethi – Nawashehar (Punjab)

Money management for me is saving a big part of my earnings and investing the savings as wisely as I can. According to me, everyone, be it a man or a woman, should save first and judiciously spent whatever is left after that. And when you have enough savings to provide you with the confidence to manage any uncertainty, judiciously Invest your money towards your goals.

(Also Read: How to do a Financial Health Check for Doctors)

Now, for a single woman money management is as important as it is for a man, but for a woman who is also a mother the importance of money management increase many folds as motherhood does come with the additional responsibility of every kind including financial.

The important goals for money management for mothers is coverage of all kinds of emergency situations, which includes medical treatment of self and children and be prepared for the important milestones of your children, like higher education, moving for a job, etc and at the same time have enough saved for a peaceful retired life.

And Money management does not just start and end with yourself, feel responsible towards your kids and make them understand the basic nuances of Financial Planning and discuss with them the family financial matters so they should be in a position or at least be aware of the things to manage well, in case of any eventuality. Remember you are not always going to be with your kids, so strive to make your daughters as financially independent as you want yourself to be.

Dr. Shilpa Malhotra – Orthodontist – Noida

To me, education is the key. We doctors are not trained in Financial management, I feel if I had learned about this subject in the younger years of my life, my present would have been very different.

Money Management is a broad term, it’s more of management than Money. Born and Brought up in a Small town of Punjab, I learnt this a hard way, as post my father’s untimely demise my mother was not aware of what my father has saved and invested for our future. And whatever we found, to our shock most of the products did not have proper nominations mentioned on it.

This experience is so ingrained in my mind that now I make sure that I should be part of each and every discussion on family financial matters, and have a good hold on it.

Since I am into my own Practice, Financial planning works on both levels i.e. Personal and Professional. The covid experiences have taught that even doctors’ income can go for a toss, and you can’t always be sure about the future. You need to plan for the eventualities and save in the right products for your goals.

(Also Read: Financial Planning Tips for Practicing Doctors)

I also have my apprehensions on the Product seller’s front. The conflict of interest is clearly visible these days and it is difficult to trust any advisor with your hard-earned money.

But that should not stop us from learning. Yes, this is a hard way, and you cannot be an expert overnight. But we have to take charge. Ask questions, Read on Financial topics, there are so many Investor education-related videos available on youtube, watch them, follow good blogs.

All this not to do the investment yourself (like we advise our patients, not to self-medicate) but to prepare yourself with the questions to get the right answers.

I had started saving 50% of my Income from the first salary itself, but I did not know anything about investment. If I had invested my money well, I would have been in a much better position today. But better late than never, investing money well is also an important step in achieving financial freedom.

Conclusion:   

It is all about being clear and convinced on the WHY part of Financial Planning. How it is to be done and What actions to take are the next steps where you can ask for professional help.

Women should take interest in the Family’s finances. Not only for the family’s wellness and avoiding any mismanagement or mishandling of money but also for the betterment of her own life.

Doctors are an educated lot. Women doctors are already Empowered ones. And have their own independent income. They do not need any success stories to be inspired. They just have to realize, like Physical health, good Financial health is also important, and for that, you need to have disciplined goal-oriented money management in place.

It is more about being comfortable and confident in your money matters. Knowledge simplifies life.

Good money management should always help you generate more time for you so you can do what matters to you most.

Doing what you love is the only definition of Freedom and when there are no monetary pressures on you, when responsibilities are being taken care of when you do not have any liabilities on your head, and things are simplified, life’s journey becomes more beautiful.

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