Let’s face it: working in healthcare can be a grind. From productivity requirements to unsafe patient-provider ratios, and from unethical business owners to frustrating and demanding family members…it can all become just too intense. Many of us find ourselves dreaming of passive income. Who wouldn’t want to make money while at the playground with their kids?
That’s why I wrote this article: to help you determine how to make passive income as a healthcare provider.
Disclaimer: there’s really no such thing as passive. Everything on here takes some degree of work to get set up in the first place. Even real estate isn’t passive. Faucets leak, tenants become difficult …
Let’s dive in to some physical therapy passive income ideas!
By investments, I mean investing in the stock market. Yes, it can be risky, but there are ways to invest without being irresponsible. If nothing else, you should be investing in retirement accounts, but those are for your future. If you want to create passive income, it’s all about investing in index funds.
- The closest to truly passive. When you make money through investments, it’s as close to truly passive as it gets. Other than managing your accounts (or paying someone to do so), you literally can make money while you sleep.
- If you opt for index funds, it’s quite stable. Individual stocks are risky and mutual funds can take some work to manage, but index funds are quite stable and generally follow the market. And they’re relatively hands-off.
- Market-dependent. Sometimes you enter the market right before a downturn, and it can be. so. painful. There’s no feeling like watching $1000 dwindle to $50 before your very eyes.
- It takes money to make money. Also, in order to make money through investing, you need to invest some. Even if you invest in the best stock ever, where it goes up 40% in one day or something crazy, that’s only a big deal if you invested enough in the first place where 40% matters. 40% of $10 is only $4, after all…
- It can take awhile to see results. This is a good thing. Sharp spikes mean sharp declines, so a stable market means it can take time for your money can grow. But it’s growing, and that’s the important part.
Another great passive income stream can be real estate. This is a good option for those with capital to invest in the first place, which can be tough for many new grad PTs who are mired in debt. However, if you have some money to invest, real estate can be a great source of passive income for a PT, OT, or SLP!
- Fairly passive if you use a property manager. While managing properties can be super time-consuming, many property managers will do the work for you, and some don’t cost much. Depending on your property, you can easily make things passive if you’re willing to share some of the profit with a management company.
- Relatively predictable. If you’re smart with real estate, you’ll invest when property is cheap and the market is low. Then, you’re somewhat guaranteed to at least break even on your investment. You do still need to be careful about where, and what, you buy, though.
- Can be the opposite of passive if you have bad tenants. If you get a whiny, high-maintenance, or deadbeat tenant, you can find yourself mired in more drama and expense than you ever thought possible.
- Can decline in value. One frustrating thing about real estate is that it can quickly tank in value. All it takes is a shift in neighborhood demographics, a high-profile crime, or a natural disaster like a flood or pipe break, and nobody will touch property in that area for years. Real estate is considered risky for a reason.
- Location-dependent. If you live in San Diego, your properties are pretty much guaranteed to go up over time. But there might be HUGE tanks in the short term. In a place like rural Texas, however, you might not make huge gains right away, but dips are also not going to be as painful.
Running an online business for physical therapy passive income
This is my favorite option because I make a (good) full-time PT salary for part-time hours by running my therapy blog. It’s the perfect passive income stream for me because I really need to feel invested in my work to feel like I’m growing professionally. My blog lets me use my existing skills and experience, make money, and spend tons of time with my husband and kids.
- Uses your existing knowledge and education. For most of us, we REALLY want to use our hard-earned education and experience whenever possible. Running an online business lets you leverage your training in ways that truly
- Make a difference in others’ lives. Similarly, many therapists shy away from real estate and investments because they feel detached; you don’t feel like you’re really helping people directly. However, running a website with therapy content is deeply fulfilling, and often fills your cup in the same way patient care does.
- There’s no limit to your business. Unlike real estate and investments, an online business can grow as much as you want, provided you’re willing to put in the work. You’re not limited by the real estate or financial market, and are only limited by your own willingness to put in the (initial) work.
- Allows you to work exactly when you want. While it does take some work to get a business to the point of being “passive,” you can work on your own hours. I worked while my kids slept during maternity leave, and by the time they were old enough to care, I was able to let it earn me money while we went to the playground…or the Mall of America. (My son’s choice…not mine!)
- Fulfilling. I LOVE running my business. I think it’s the best job in the world. Not only do I get to work in my PJs, I know that I’m truly helping people with the content and products that I put out!
- Can take some time to build. One thing about online businesses is that it’s a long play. But that’s also part of what makes it stable and wonderful.
- Never fully passive unless you have employees. Another thing to keep in mind is that a blog will always require some level of upkeep. I’m fine with that because I literally work 2-3 days per week on my blog, and make a full time income! But if you want TRULY passive income from your blog, you’ll need to pay someone to manage emails, create sales pages, etc.
There you have it! Three recommendations for passive income for physical, occupational, and speech therapy professionals are investments, real estate, and running online businesses. I know I’m definitely skewed toward the online business one, but I can say with full conviction that launching Pink Oatmeal was the best professional decision I’ve ever made.
♥Considering launching a blog?♥
I’ve teamed up with Meredith Castin, PT, DPT of The Non-Clinical PT to create Therapy Blogging 101 (releasing in spring/summer 2020)! Download our Therapy Blogging 101 Power Pack (a FREE 28-page PDF with tips and tricks to creating a profitable blog without being skeezy or salesy) here!
What are some ways you make passive income as a PT/OT/SLP?