To Lend or Not to Lend. Is That a Question?
Although cute, rings true for many individuals. The higher your perceived income, the more requests, pleading, and ultimate begging you many receive. One of the most common financial pitfalls for doctors often comes from those who are the closest to them. Doctors, regardless of their field or specialty have a perceived image of prosperity and opulence. Many doctors of today are first generation college graduates and the first in their families to be placed in a position of high 6-figure income earning potential. If a physician or doctor is fortunate enough to open his/her own practice, look out, as your lending potential just skyrocketed in the eyes of those with their hand out.
What many unassuming family and friend borrowers to the new doctors fail to consider, is the tremendous amount of financial obligations your favorite doctor may actually be under. The average doctor completes medical school with an average debt of $166,750 and is required to repay that debt at an average of anywhere between $1,200-$3,000 per month. Add in the case of the newly appointed dentist looking to open a new practice, and the expected loan amount could range from $250,000-$500,000 to do so. With a realistic startup cost for a new dental office of $375,000, the repayment terms can be between $4,000-$5,000 per month depending on the loan.
Not considering malpractice insurance or other lifestyle obligations (new home, new car purchases), it is safe to imagine how the average doctor could easily shell out between $10,000 to $25,000 each month.
Dollars & Cents
A quick “loan” to a family or friend of $200 here and $500 there although seemingly small, can quickly add up. We have seen multimillionaires quickly go broke while being a consistent “lending” and giving hand to their loved ones. A major problem arises with the occasional $500 giveaway. You not only lose that $500, but you also incur what is termed the lost opportunity cost, which is the ability for that same $500 to make you say, $1,000 or $2,000 over time.
Most doctors are caring and want to help by nature but have to really work hard to guard and protect their personal finances. As a doctor, how do you handle personal requests for money?