Common Questions Residents Have About Money.
By Alphil Guilaran, Financial Coach
Financial Literacy Counsel
Our team recently attended the Resident’s Orientation Day on June 28, and it was a pleasure to meet residents who were keen to learn about money. I am encouraged by this enthusiasm, and I look forward to hearing their stories and increasing their financial literacy rates throughout their years in Residency. Our team has also been meeting with Residents transitioning into another year of training and together with the new R1’s, here are the two most common questions Residents are asking to build up their confidence around the topic of money.
Question Number 1:
Did I commit to the right disability insurance program?
As you may already be aware, a new initiative by RDBC means that on the call submission sheet, there is a question relating to disability insurance. This question has ignited a flurry of coaching calls to our office related to ensuring Residents have the most suitable disability insurance plan based on their needs and long-term goals as they transition into practice.
Our team has specialists who are constantly working with Residents on this exact question, and they are helping them provide clarity on what is available from the various providers as well as giving them confidence that they bought the right disability insurance plan to protect their ability to earn an income in the event of a disability.
Question Number 2:
“Do I pay off debts during or after residency?”
Well, it’s official!!! Rates for lines of credit have risen and it is time to reconsider your strategy for dealing with your debts as it will cost you more on a go forward basis to pay them off.
We coach Residents to make the commitment to pay down debts during residency because they are developing self discipline which is one of the most important money habits doctors need to develop. With the average debt load of the Residents we serve hovering around $167,000, self-discipline is truly required to prioritize repayment of debts. Either a stretch goal of 5-10% for those in a 2-year residency program and 10-15% for those in 4+ year programs are ideal places to start.
If you can relate to any of the questions above or have your own questions you are seeking answers for, don’t hesitate to contact Vancouver Coastal Health’s (VCH) EFAP (Employee and Family Assistance Program) at 604.872.4929 or 1.800.505.4929 to access your two private financial literacy coaching sessions which is part of “The Financial Literacy Program for Residents” and is a free service available to all BC Medical Residents and their partners throughout the province.
This program has been in existence since 2011 and is part of your Vancouver Coastal Health Benefits package and is a collaboration between RDBC, VCH EFAP and The Financial Literacy Counsel and we look forward to serving you.