Social media vs financial planning – what’s more valuable for your future?

Social media vs financial planning – what’s more valuable for your future?

Iain Stevenson discusses why it is so important to take a proactive approach to financial planning as a dental professional.

According to a recent study commissioned by saving and investing app Moneybox, the British population averagely spends twice as much time on social media as they do on managing their personal finances.

The research conducted by OnePoll found that 64% of adults believe that they have missed out on financial opportunities because of a lack of knowledge and confidence. Only a mere 16% openly embrace digital tools and technology to help manage their finances.

The study also found that only 20% of the participants said they consistently spend time learning about personal finance topics. Forty per cent of participants admitted to only allowing a small amount of time to researching the best financial product for their needs, while 20% stated that they don’t spend any time at all.

Retirement readiness

When we spoke to dentists as part of our Retirement Readiness Quiz – a survey hosted by our media partners at FMC – we found that being time poor is a commonly occurring theme amongst dentists. As a result, taking time out for financial planning for the future often falls by the wayside.   

One example of this was evident during a discussion of the results of our Retirement Readiness Quiz with a panel of key opinion leading dentists. One of the questions to the panel was how aware they felt that the average dentist is about their tax position and how much more advantageous it could be.

Principal dentist and multiple practice owner Sameet Hindocha said: ‘It’s probably not so good to be honest. I don’t think that many dentists pay too much attention to this, simply because we are just so busy, especially those of us with NHS contracts. We’re just trying to care for all our patients and with everything that involves, it doesn’t leave much time to evaluate this type of thing.’

It would appear that a lack of time is potentially a big factor in preventing dentists from reviewing elements of their financial planning.

However, creating pockets of time dedicated to thinking about your finances can be extremely useful – even if this means allocating time that would usually be downtime and whilst we all need to have downtime and for many, scrolling through social media platforms is one form of this, some of this time could for many of us be better allocated to more productive habits, such as forming good financial habits to build financial strength for your future. As where you make the most impact on your life is by having productive habits.

Wellbeing impacts

It’s well documented that financial worries or a lack of financial organisation can be detrimental to our mental health – therefore I would encourage dentists to make the time to seek specialist support from someone who can help them to form good financial habits and to formulate a plan for the future.

Being in an informed position can bring greater peace of mind, as once you know where you are heading, it becomes easier to deal with any bumps in the road. It gives you one less thing to worry about in your spare time.

I have worked with dentists for many years and understand just how busy they are. At the end of a long day after caring for numerous patients or keeping up with admin, taking time out for financial planning may seem like yet more work.

However, seeking support from a dental specialist financial adviser – someone who understands the income patterns and career progression associated with dentistry as well as the complex NHS employment and pension schemes – can help to ensure better quality time in the future and to make sure that dentists get the most out of their hard-earned income.

Even small changes can make a big difference. Doing something towards financial planning is always better than doing nothing.

For further support and guidance to plan for the financial year ahead, speak to a dental specialist financial adviser at Wesleyan Financial Services by booking a no-obligation financial review or calling 0800 316 3784.

This article is sponsored by Wesleyan Financial Services.

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