GPs need to focus on their future financial planning just like the rest of us.
Most GPs we talk to are working long hours in addition to patients with Covid, they are dealing with the fall out of long Covid, mental health issues exacerbated by the pandemic and also those who have health conditions but have delayed seeking help.
After a long day it’s very difficult to focus on anything other than the here and now.
But, if you are a GP and do manage to get some time to think about your financial future and financial planning we would recommend:
- If you are a partner, being clear about your practice income is so important. Your accountant should be helping you with a realistic sum to draw on a monthly basis and also your expected tax bill. The Healthcare team at Robson Laidler look after many GP practices and can help you save time worrying about your practice finances. These fluctuate, so you should be checking your drawings on a regular basis.
- What happens if you are absent due to illness? Having locum cover in place would take that uncertainty away. Check your partnership agreement covers this.
- Having appropriate insurance protection in place. If you are the main breadwinner with a young family, it’s important to consider the “What if’s?” particularly if you are paying for school fees. What if you were suddenly unable to work/not here? Conversely, if your children are now financially independent, it’s important to consider if you still need all of those policies.
- Did you know that as a member of the NHS Pension you have death in service cover, which is typically 2 X pensionable earnings? This might negate/reduce the need for additional cover.
- Getting a handle on your NHS Pension. How much does it cost you? What are you likely to receive and when? Are you affected by changes to tax and pensions legislation over the past few years? Obtaining a Total Reward Statement online is a good place to start https://www.totalrewardstatements.nhs.uk/ Your accountant or tax adviser should also let you know if you could be affected by the Tapered Annual Allowance (it’s changed to taxable income over £200,000 from 20/21, previously £110,000).
- It is always a good idea to look at ways you can phase into your retirement. Our advice is always to think about your outgoings. If you need £5,000 net per month to cover your basic bills, where is that coming from? Will your NHS Pension enable you to maintain your current lifestyle or will you need to use other assets/savings? We can help with this by providing a plan (including NHS Pension analysis) and a tax efficient investment strategy if needed. If you are part of a couple then we’d recommend that you do this together.