ACP Physicians’ Financial Preparedness
Retired Internists Share the Keys to a Satisfying Retirement
According to a recent survey conducted by the American College of Physicians, more than 90% of retired internists say they’re either satisfied or very satisfied with their retirement.
More than half have $3 million or more saved for retirement and have diverse portfolios, including IRAs, pensions, annuities, and real estate.
The 10% of retired doctors who are neutral or dissatisfied with their retirement are more likely to say they’re not confident that their retirement funds will last. They cite the primary reasons to be major health issues, highly volatile markets depleting their savings, insufficient savings, delaying the start of a savings account, or excess early spending.
Advice for physicians getting ready to retire
Several physicians stressed the importance of staying flexible with retirement plans because life can often be unpredictable. One physician found her first few years of retirement to be nothing like she’d expected after her husband got sick and she lost both parents.
Others advise that the transition from medicine to retirement can be quite traumatic. To help ensure a smooth retirement, they recommend gently winding down your schedule until the day you retire and having a concrete plan for what you’ll do with your time.
The most common advice shared by retired physicians:
- Plan carefully.
- Work closely with an advisor to be sure you have enough savings.
- Work part time if you must or want to.
About one-quarter of retired physicians still work part time doing consulting, teaching, or locum tenens.
How retired physicians are spending their time
The study found that retired physicians spend most of their time on five top activities:
- Time with family and friends.
- Leisure activities and hobbies.
Other activities include working part time, teaching, consulting, locum tenens, or starting a new business. Many also cited reading, writing, practicing mindfulness and meditation, managing investments, doing yard work, and remodeling as things they spend their time doing. Several retired physicians in their 80s and 90s are also serving as a caregiver for their spouse.
More than 400 retired internists between their 60s and 90s shared their experiences and opinions about their retirement with the American College of Physicians (ACP) in an anonymous, in-depth national survey fielded in March to May 2021.
Source: ACP Internal Medicine Physicians’ Financial Preparedness Survey conducted March to May 2021.