It can be hard keeping up with all the changes in both your personal and professional life and legislation that could affect your finances as a medical or dental professional. As the old saying goes, the only constant is change. But with some simple checks you can be prepared for it.
This does not constitute advice and advice should be sought in all instances before acting on it.
Check your sick pay
If you change jobs or roles you need to check to see what has changed about your sick pay.
If you’ve recently moved to being a locum, you’ve unfortunately lost the security of NHS sick pay, so if you don’t work, you don’t get paid. It’s important to have a plan for dealing with sick time because even short-term illnesses or injuries could ruin you financially. Without a source of income, you wouldn’t be able to keep up with your outgoings and that’s the last thing you want to worry about while recovering. If you’ve lost sick pay, consider securing Critical Illness or Income protection insurance to cover you.
If you’ve recently become a GP partner, remember that you still have 12 months drawings per your practice agreement, but after that, you will be responsible for any costs associated with hiring a locum if you need to be replaced. Confirm that your income protection will be enough to cover you and that it will pay out when you need it to. Confirm who is responsible for locum insurance — does your practice have a group policy or do you need to secure and maintain your own coverage?
Check how much of your locum costs will be NHS pay now that sickness cover reimbursement is a practice entitlement for GP Practices.
If you’ve made it to consultant level, check what NHS sick pay you’re on and what your ill-health retirement payments will be. As always, with any job change, update your income protection policy to ensure full coverage if necessary.
There are always pension changes to keep up with. When was the last time you checked whether or not they affected you? Have you met with your financial adviser to determine what actions you need to take if they do?
Don’t forget to get an annual, up-to-date valuation of your NHS Pension from your Total Reward Statement (TRS) and confirm that it’s correct alongside your financial adviser. While you’re at it, consider writing to the NHS Pensions Agency so you can receive a full detailed report and/or the amount you are meant to have contributed to your pension. The earlier you’re able to catch and rectify any mistakes on your service history, the better. You don’t want to reach retirement age and have to contend with correcting errors that have been present for years.
Check on any personal changes
There are certainly many personal events that would merit a financial check-in. Marriage, moving house, co-habitation, starting a family, higher education, etc. will all have an impact on your money situation.
It can be difficult to constantly keep on top of all these different things yourself. Working with a financial adviser could be exactly what you need to ensure your finances are always kept in check. Speak to an expert from Dental & Medical Financial Services to get started.