Formulate a Financial Plan

Know Your Net Worth

Manage & Minimize Debt

Accumulate Assets

Budget to Live Within Your Means

Understand Investing Basics

Plan for Retirement

Insure People & Property

Deal with Financial Advisors

Review Your Employment Contract

Make Plans for Your Estate

Make Good Decisions


Your employment contract should address all the usual benefits, including:

  • Health insurance
  • Maternity or paternity leave
  • Disability and Life insurance
  • Defined benefit or defined contribution pension plans
  • Vacation allowance
  • Legal insurance
  • Children’s college tuition benefits
  • Allowances for professional society dues, journal subscriptions, phone, or paging device
  • Relocation

Your human resources representative should be able to direct you to information on health insurance plan(s) and any specifics applicable to maternity or paternity leave. Choose the health plan and options that best meet your family’s needs.  

Disability and Life insurance policies offered through employers’ group plans may offer limited benefits. Consider supplementing these group plans with your own private policies. Private policies are discussed in the insurance chapter.

Find out whether you’ll be participating in a defined benefit plan or a defined contribution retirement plan. With defined benefit plans the employer guarantees you certain benefits in the future. This reduces uncertainty for you. With defined contribution plans, you face all the uncertainty and risk associated with your plan’s investment performance. These offerings are discussed in the retirement planning chapter.

Make sure you’re being offered a fair amount of vacation time. This is your opportunity to unwind from a stressful job and spend quality time with family and friends. Some employers may require a certain amount of advance notice to secure vacation dates. You may also be required to remain accessible to patients and colleagues even while on vacation.

Your employer may offer legal insurance covering personal legal expenses for estate planning, debt collection, identity theft defense, tax audits, and the purchase, sale, and refinancing of a primary home. This can be a very cost-effective avenue for obtaining legal advice pertaining to household needs.

A benefit for doctors working in university hospitals is that their children may be eligible for significant college tuition coverage. To be eligible, the children usually must attend a school on an approved list. Check with your human resources department.

Your work as a medical professional may require you to have memberships in professional medical societies, to have access to the latest journal publications, and to be accessible to patients and co-workers at non-traditional hours. It may be reasonable for you to receive financial support for all of these and any related expenditures. 

You may be eligible for relocation expenses. These may be significant if you are moving an entire household to another state.

Some (usually senior) employees may also be eligible for deferred compensation benefits. It’s worthwhile to ask about these upfront even if you won’t become eligible for years.