By Kristen Wilson, PT, DPT
About a week ago, my community in Southeastern Pennsylvania along the Brandywine River was rocked by over 14 inches of rain as Hurricane Ida tore through our towns leaving a massive amount of flooding and wind damage in her wake.
Homes were evacuated, schools closed, and businesses destroyed; needless to say, an incredible shock since hurricanes aren’t typically a common threat to the MidAtlantic! Since then, I’ve heard stories of the financial havoc the damage left for so many in my area, both on a personal and business level, as owners and families were seemingly unprepared for the amount of money and resources it took to remedy such destruction. While many tout preparation as the best tool to defray financial stress, this past year and a half has taught us that sometimes things are simply out of our control.
As a young practice owner years ago, I was underprepared for the financial management component of owning a business. Our first year in operation, my business partner and I were levied a tax bill for MORE than we brought home in distributions that year. With limited cash flow to pay, we were essentially left without a lifeboat. It was a painful entry into the world of entrepreneurship which fostered a perpetual desire to improve our financial acumen in years following. Yet still, 10 years in, I find that I’m learning something new every day on how to better prepare myself, my family, and my business to succeed on a financial level. Even this past June, my Peer2Peer group shared some strategies for IRA matching that we immediately implemented! No matter the years of experience, every private practice owner must be diligent about continuing to build their knowledge in this area as laws, opportunities, and penalties are constantly changing.
This month’s issue of Impact offers some guidance for new and seasoned practice owners to better prepare for their financial future. Mike Piekutoski outlines the benefits of a multisystem financial review in Leveraging the Benefits of Cash-Based AND Accrual-Based Accounting, and Randy Johnson highlights suggestions to help you succeed in retirement with Gearing Up for the Golden Years. Whether tips for managing debt or improving the financial wellness of your team, our authors have prepared a diverse selection of topics for your review.
Like the rise and fall of a riverbank, we as private practice owners experience the ups and downs of financial security, yet are fortunate to have a stable profession that offers opportunities to plan for our future. When fiscal distress occurs, both in and out of our control, it is comforting to know that our section colleagues are available to help us overcome. Beyond this issue, the PPS website offers resources on improving your financial planning, and this year we are lucky to have fantastic speakers at Annual Conference who will share new tips to implement. Continue to prepare and fortify your future, so that in the event of an unexpected stormy fate, your financial lifeboat will remain secure.