Beyond the Numbers: How Medical Professionals Can Live a Richer Life

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Throughout their career, physicians may need support that extends beyond financial guidance

wellbeing for doctors female physician meeting with kid patient

By Dr. Vas Sabeeh

This article is the fourth and final in a four-part series exploring the unique financial planning needs of medical professionals.

Doctors know better than anyone that wellness means tending to every aspect of health over time. Exercising can help a person stay physically healthy, but spending time with loved ones to cultivate emotional health is equally important. Instead of being a one-time effort, total wellness calls for a continuous pursuit of healthy behaviors.

And wellness isn’t just a talking point for doctors to explain to patients. Medical professionals must be their best selves for their patients and loved ones to live a happy and fulfilling life.

At Brighton Jones, we want to see our clients live a richer life. With that in mind, we offer services not found at most financial advisory firms. These programs encourage clients to see the bigger picture; that financial planning and wealth management are simply a way to live out their values and pursue their passions.

Let’s explore some of the programs offered to Brighton Jones clients that can help medical professionals achieve wellbeing.

Mindfulness-based Emotional and Social Intelligence

Medical professionals experience notoriously high-stress situations. Dealing with difficult diagnoses and death takes a toll and likely contributes to the relatively high suicide rate among doctors. As of 2018, roughly 15 to 30 percent of medical students and residents experienced depression.

Managing and processing emotions can help doctors and medical staff avoid a host of mental health problems that can get in the way of feeling happy, fulfilled, and at peace. Brighton Jones’ Mindfulness-based Emotional and Social Intelligence program is an extension of our core value of compassion. It helps employees and clients be fully present and act intentionally in their lives and relationships.

Women Living a Richer Life

Women own more wealth today than they have in the history of the United States. And they are projected to control up to two-thirds of the world’s wealth by 2030. But even though women’s collective economic power is growing worldwide, the gender gap in financial literacy is still holding many women back from maximizing their financial wellbeing.

Women already face financial discrimination in hiring and salary, and medical professionals are no exception. The gender gap in medicine is notoriously wide, with up to 25 percent more male physicians than female physicians (which disproportionately affects women of color).

Brighton Jones’ Women Living a Richer Life (WLRL) program was created to address and close the gender gap in wealth and financial literacy by offering educational events and fireside chat opportunities for women in the Brighton Jones community. WLRL provides a space to learn, ask questions, and share experiences about money and barriers to wealth equality.

Maximizing Your Philanthropic Impact

In addition to healing others, many doctors also donate their time and services to those who cannot afford health care.

While a standard financial advisor might gloss over philanthropic giving or focus on the topic solely for tax purposes, Brighton Jones offers various tools to help doctors give to high-impact non-profits that align with the causes they care about most.

From evaluating the legitimacy of non-profits for Giving Tuesday to determining how to best support COVID-19 relief efforts, Brighton Jones advisors understand that financial planning for doctors should include a philanthropic plan that maximizes effective altruism.

Philanthropy is a value we share with our clients. In 2018, Brighton Jones was recognized by Seattle magazine’s Community Impact Awards as the Small Business of the Year. In 2019, the Brighton Jones community held over $30 million in donor-advised fund accounts, with a payout rate 12 percent higher than the national average.

We pride ourselves on our philanthropy-minded community. We believe our clients deserve to have their charitable giving managed with the same strategic mindset as their other assets.

Beyond the Numbers: Additional Services

Alternative Income Counseling

Many medical professionals might not realize they have the opportunity to grow their wealth through different streams of income. Health care administration, research and development, and teaching can act as supplemental income opportunities that also provide variety to a doctor’s day-to-day job. Brighton Jones advisors stay appraised of alternative investment opportunities as another way to earn additional income.

Tax Strategies

How can knowledge of tax law and strategy help with financial planning for medical professionals? Brighton Jones’ financial advisors work with doctors to make the most of tax-deferred vehicles, such as retirement accounts and health savings accounts, to make sure their income isn’t being taxed more than the law and their already-high income bracket requires.

Real Estate

If you own or are considering owning property, Brighton Jones has a team of real estate advisors to help manage real estate holdings. These advisors work as part of your comprehensive team to ensure all real estate equity strategy fits in with your overall financial plan.

Financial planning for medical professionals should be treated with the same comprehensive perspective as health and wellness. For us, a job well-done means that our clients, our employees, and our community are all in good health—financially, physically, and emotionally.

While much of our work accomplishes this goal through financial planning and strategy, we are proud to offer services, programs, and tools that go beyond the numbers to help you live a richer life.

Dr. Vas Sabeeh, a board-certified plastic surgeon, serves as a relationship manager at Brighton Jones. 

Financial Planning for Medical Professionals

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