Financial Tips for Intern Year – Sponsored by Walshs

Financial Tips for Intern Year – Sponsored by Walshs


After all of your hard grind through your University years, you are finally about to be paid for your efforts. Whilst your intern wage is no doubt a significant increase to the amount you have been able to survive on throughout University, it is only a starting point. It is therefore critical that you make the most of this salary using some of our handy tips below.

    1. Salary Packaging– Both Queensland Health and the Mater are public benevolent Institutions and therefore, employees of these organisations are able to pay for eligible expenses from pre-tax income. This provides a considerable benefit for staff.  There is a cap on this and the conditions are slightly different from employer to employer. We are able to provide advice and support, not only to set up your packaging, but also to ensure that you make the most of any potential benefit, based on your individual circumstances. For those at the Mater you will require a Financial Adviser to sign off prior to commencing packaging. Whilst this is not a requirement with Queensland Health, it is recommended that you see an Adviser regardless, as neither of the Administration providers are qualified to provide anything other than general advice.
    2. Superannuation– While Super money might not seem like “real money” because it can’t be immediately accessed, I can assure you that it is very real and it is going to be required to fund your retirement, as far away as that sounds. Both Queensland Health and the Mater have Co-contribution schemes available to staff. By utilising these scheme’s you effectively will be paid additional super for free. There is some downside however and this will not suit every scenario and it is advised to seek advice prior to deciding if this suits your circumstances.
    3. Tax- As employers will withhold tax based on the assumption of your fortnightly pay being replicated across the year, in the first 6 months of your career it is likely that too much will be withheld. Once your tax return is completed you will get back any additional tax that has been paid, therefore it is ideal to complete your return at the earliest available point. For some of you this will be your first ever tax return, whilst others may have some exposure within a different career, regardless, your accounting is only going to get more complex from this point forward. Even in these early years there are some certain deductions which are more likely to be picked up by an accounting firm specialising in the medical sector. Ideally you should position yourself with a firm who will be aligned with your requirements for the full length of your career.
    4. Income Protection Insurance-  You have worked very hard to get to this position of being qualified to earn an income. The last thing we would want is for an injury or an illness to blow that all away. Whilst you will be provided with a base level of cover through your superannuation, this insurance will only provide a limited amount of cover for a limited period of time. Any insurance option needs to be appropriate for individual circumstances, which in our view for Junior Doctors is best served by undertaking a “retail” policy rather than the homogenous “group” policies automatically provided through superannuation. Remember, your biggest asset going forward is your ability to earn income. It only makes sense to adequately insure the biggest asset that we own!
    5. Save, but still have some fun! It is only natural and appropriate that after years of living off the smell of an oily rag, that you are going to want to spend some of your new found wealth. However, we need to ensure that this is not overdone. Any spending needs to be done with some sort of savings plan in mind. Regardless of whether your first investment is going to be property or equities you will need some level of capital for initial investment. This will take a long time to achieve if you do not have a savings plan or have one but choose to ignore it. Completing a detailed budget with your financial adviser during one of your regular meetings is a wonderful exercise to plan ahead and calculate what is achievable.

These services are provided in our Intern Retainer Package which includes a Tax Return, Salary Packaging and all contact until July 2018 (including all necessary amendments). This tax deductible fee is discounted 40% for your Intern year to $330 and is not payable until June 2017. This package has proved extremely popular and was taken up by 196 Queensland Interns last year alone.

To book your complimentary obligation free meeting, call now on 07 3221 5677, email on or visit our website