By Marcy Tolkoff
A bonus. An inheritance. A tax refund. Or an amount you’ve saved up. It doesn’t much matter how the $10,000 comes your way.
The $10,000 question is whether you should apply it to debt, spend it, save it, invest it, or some combination of these strategies. The answer often depends on where you are in your life and stage of your career.
We’ve taken three potential scenarios based on those variables and looked to some experts for their advice for physicians who are young and have just started to save; midcareer, with some money already in the bank; and later in their career, looking toward retirement in the near future.
Out of the Gate
What’s the four-letter word that’s top of mind for most physicians who haven’t been practicing very long? Debt, of course. You’re all too familiar with the heavy weight of student loans, but there could also be credit card balances and auto loans nipping away at just-blossoming salaries.
Apply it. “Pare down debt with at least a portion of the $10,000,” suggests personal finance expert and radio talk show host Ilyce Glink, a personal finance author and columnist. “Let’s say you pay a $25 minimum each month on a $3000 balance at a 17% annual percentage rate. By the end of the 10 years it will take you to pay it off, you will have paid $2241.14 in interest charges.”
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