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Resident Personal Finance Didactics

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  • Resident Personal Finance Didactics

    I'm an intern at an IM residency program who offered to put together a didactics session for our house staff on relevant personal finance.  I've helped a lot of my co-residents with questions one on one but I am struggling when trying to put together a 30-45 minute presentation on the topic.  It's a fine line between glossing over too much stuff and leaving out important issues vs putting people to sleep.  My goal here is to make people realize that personal finance isn't rocket science and that with a few key actions they can set themselves up for long term success.


    My topics thus far

    -Making a Budget (first paycheck, figuring out where your money goes)
    -Student Loan Managements (income based plan, don't defer, refinance once you graduate vs. PSLF)
    -Saving in Residency (emergency fund, retirement accounts)
    -Learning Tax Basics (do it yourself for a few years, it's not that complicated, top 2-3 ways to easily reduce taxes)
    -Longer Term Planning (Have a plan that is written, Get appropriate term life/own occ insurance before finishing residency)
    -Short punch list to do if they forget everything else (Get on IDR plan if you have loans, start an emergency fund, contribute to HSA/403b, file your taxes, get insurance, set it on autopilot)


    I would love any ideas from folks on here of things I have forgotten or any tricks for explaining it to a resident audience.  Pretty diverse background of residents but most have been busy with work and haven't had interest or don't know where to start learning about this stuff.


    Thanks so much!

  • #2
    Dont spend too much time on the boring stuff, like budgeting, etc...I always think of these talks as a way to just get someone interested and to start to think about it. You want them to leave there and do some work on their own afterwards.

    You cant go into any detail on any one thing, there just isnt the time, though 30 minutes is a lot. Just mention the programs in general, so people know theyre available and say that they are specific to them and their path.

    Make it interesting and important by highlighting what no one can comprehend, you can easily end up with more money from saving/investing than you will have made in your career. Fees over 30 years can extract a significant sum if you dont pay attention. No whole life, etc..One of the things I like to do is project out a career of earnings like a lump sum for lifetime spending, its very eye opening. Eg, you will make 9M over your career, 3M will go to taxes, 3M to retirement, and that last 3M will have to pay for every house, car, trip, eating out and everything ever. Sobering really. Makes you think about your purchases and income desires, how to change or improve things.

    I had a whole slide of things to just mention (conference members had slides available) that were to be avoided or further researched and I literally just said that, ugh, dont do any of these dumb things, and make sure you learn these basic concepts.

    Time value of money is one of the most important things to know, as is simple vs. compound interest. It'd be great if people were less confused about these things.


    • #3
      Imo you need to keep it as short and simple as possible and stay out of the weeds. I gave one which I thought would be fairly quick and easily digestible, and it ended up lasting 75 minutes not including the myriad of questions.

      I'd just hit on the basic concepts: budget this much, invest this much, here's how to use your employer retirement account, credit card debt will kill you, don't buy a car or house. Then you can have subsequent presentations or handouts about the details or further subjects.


      • #4
        Happy to share you the ppt i use for my residents. Feel free to use and modify, just give me some cred . PM me.


        • #5
          I agree with what others have said . . . Go more basic. Emphasize living like a resident for a few years post residency (maybe borrow PoF graphic on 4 physicians and the impact of spending on ability to retire), paying down loans ASAP, and maxing out retirement contributions (and how using an advisor with fees will impact long term gains). And then take questions. Refer to this site if they want to learn more.

          This is a great thing you are doing, BTW! Good luck and let us know how it goes!


          • #6
            I had 15 mins to present. I had 19 info slides and knocked it out. Dont get detailed, one can only take in so much at once. The slides really should just be mental reminders to hit the high points you have in mind.


            • #7
              I think PoF's 4 Physician model (from the blog today) would be interesting for people to see, early in their careers.

              At the end of training, I read the then recently published, "The Millionaire Next Door", and it was very influential to my views on money, success, status, etc. and still resonates today. There might be some pearls or quotes to lift.


              • #8
                Can also give them a list of 4-5 books to read:  Millionaire Next Door, the WCI book, Bogleheads guide to retirement, maybe one book on taxes like Sandy Bodkin, etc.  Agree that the idea is to give them a page with bullet points to stimulate their own thinking and drill the concept of saving before spending into their head.  80% of residents (and attendings) are pretty clueless on ANY of this; I know I was!


                • #9
                  Emphasize the concept of paying yourself first. It does not matter it your salary is a paltry $40K or $400K. Make sure that they don't get to see the top 15 % of their income come into their hands. Have it invested directly into a retirement plan before they get the rest to spend. Even if they blow the rest of the money the 15 % investment started early will leave them with a good retirement sum.


                  • #10
                    Thanks for all of the feedback!  I'll work on integrating that and let everybody know how the presentation goes.


                    • #11
                      i would say The  Millionaire Next Door, WCIs book, POF 4 physician series are must reads for the newbies. Go to MMM to emphasize a deemphasis on material things as well.


                      • #12
                        I do a talk during orientation for all incoming interns in my program. I try to push a few key points but what I've found most illustrative is an example where I show two different people, one who invests fully in a Roth IRA for 10 years from age 25-35, and the other who waits until age 35 to start investing in their Roth IRA and how the person who invests for only 10 years and then stops ends up doing better overall due to time and compound interest. We also talk a little about student loans, the program's retirement accounts, and insurances -- but mostly paying lip service to these things. I will say over the 3 years I've been doing this, the knowledge base of the incoming interns is increasing every year, which is exciting.


                        • #13
                          Make it more basic than you think it should be. When you give it the second time, it'll be even more basic.

                          It'll be intimidating to stand up there and give it at first. But once the Q&A starts, you'll realize "I've got this" since you probably know more than anyone else in the room on the topic.
                          Helping those who wear the white coat get a fair shake on Wall Street since 2011


                          • #14
                            Thanks WCI.  I took a lot of advice from the thread, and (with credit) lifted a few quotes from Miss Bonnie's ppt.  At this point I'm feeling pretty ready to go.  Talk is Wednesday, I'll update with how it went!


                            • #15
                              So with a crowd of 20 residents and a couple 4th year students I ended up talking for almost an hour and covered pretty much the gamut of personal finance 001.  I ended up taking about 25 questions, got some excellent conversations going, and had several people come up to me afterwards to ask more questions.  Very positive feedback, encouraged me to do it again in the future!