Residents Delayed in Retirement Journey Cite Heavy Debt, Lack of Finance Knowledge - acp

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Residents Delayed in Retirement Journey Cite Heavy Debt, Lack of Finance Knowledge

Residents Delayed in Retirement Journey Cite Heavy Debt, Lack of Finance Knowledge

Early data released from the 2021 Physicians’ Financial Preparedness Report created by the American College of Physicians (ACP) Member Insurance Program, shows that only 6% of internal medicine residents and fellows feel ahead of schedule in saving for retirement, and only 23% feel on track.

That means nearly 70% of these physicians in training feel their retirement portfolio is behind where they’d like it to be.

Why are these young internal medicine residents facing such challenges when it comes to preparing for a secure financial future?

The survey found that they face relentless personal financial challenges, including medical student loan debt, consumer debt, and low household income. In fact, 34% owe more than $200,000 in student loans. And 56% have a household income of $50,000 to $100,000—making it a challenge for many to pay off that debt.

Perhaps making it even more challenging for them, only 40% feel knowledgeable about personal finance matters.

Other key highlights from the report include:

  • Nearly half of residents and fellows are married, and 17% have children.
  • Nearly 90% of residents and fellows are employed by hospitals.
  • Many expressed concerns over having the right insurance protection for their family.

Looking to the future, these young professionals are expecting significant changes in the next three years in their personal lives. Nearly half expect to buy their first home and/or have children. Forty percent say they will be getting married, and 40% say they plan to move to another state.

Professionally, the changes are even more significant. Most say they will become employed in a group practice or hospital or change employers. Only 6% say they plan to start a practice.

More than 200 resident internists in their 20s and 30s anonymously shared their experiences, opinions, and personal financial details in this in-depth national survey fielded in March 2021. The full 2021 ACP Physicians’ Financial Preparedness Report can be found here. The study is part of an ongoing effort to provide members with personal financial education, expert advice, and relevant benchmarks to assist in their quest for a secure retirement.

Source: ACP Internal Medicine Physicians’ Financial Preparedness Survey conducted March to May 2021. N=217; 95% confidence; +/- 6% margin of error.