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Protecting What Matters Most


8 Alarming Trends for Physicians Nearing Retirement

As retirement age approaches, many physicians begin thinking about whether to retire early or continue working, full- or part-time. Many who choose the former are responding to changes in the healthcare system.

Out of 20,000 practitioners surveyed by the Physicians Foundation in 2014, 39 percent planned to retire early as a response to new rules and regulations. Of those who planned to continue working, a full 10 percent intended to seek non-clinical jobs within three years of reaching retirement age.

For physicians nearing retirement who are facing financial challenges, here are eight essential considerations.

3 Trends to Watch Out for

  • Many will work past age 65. Reaching retirement age no longer means spending the majority of one’s time wearing golf shoes. According to a 2014 report from Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies, 65 percent of Baby Boomers plan to work past retirement age or skip it altogether, largely citing financial reasons. Factors such as lack of enough savings and a desire to maintain one’s lifestyle contribute to this ongoing trend. Supporting one’s adult children, paying off educational loans, and caring for elderly parents were also common concerns.

  • Money may be tighter than you expect. Physician income has decreased over 15 percent, adjusting for inflation, since 1993. As a result, the dream of relaxing through a financially stable retirement has recently been fading for some. Lower returns on interest bearing accounts, the potential for reduced Social Security benefits, and a lack of significant wage increases during the latter years of a career means retirement may require planning on a tighter budget.

  • Planning your activities is important. Planning for the financial aspect of retirement is essential. However, the planning should also cover your personal adjustment to no longer being a physician. Over eight percent of retired physicians reported being diagnosed with depression in 2013. In the healthcare profession, many professionals find identity in their work. So it is important to make plans for getting involved in your community or engaging in another activity of interest during your retirement years.

 5 Essential Considerations Physicians Should Plan Ahead For

  • Health Care. Planning for health care expenses should be your first priority. Your needs will change as you age, and your budget may need to grow to provide for those needs. Strategically plan for health care so you’re prepared for unforeseen circumstances like a cancer diagnosis, heart surgery or expensive prescriptions.

  • Long-Term Care. While the thought of long-term care may be an unpleasant one, the need is a reality for the majority of retirees. An estimated 70 percent of today’s 65-year-olds will require long-term care in the future. Investing in long-term care insurance will help you provide for those necessities.

  • Inflation. Your budget may be rock solid, but have you planned for inflation? Each dollar you save has less buying power as years continue to mount. Even without adding extra expenses to your budget, your cash outflow is bound to quicken as the cost of goods and services rises. Keep in mind that an average inflation rate of three percent, often used for planning purposes, does not take into account the independently rising costs of certain services, such as medical care.

  • Elder Care. Your parents may end up requiring assistance. Elder care can last for many years and you will need to factor those costs into your budget.

  • Home Repair Expenses. How will you maintain and improve your home after retiring? Unexpected expenses may arise, such as the cost of roof replacement or a new air conditioning system. You will likely only need to budget to replace the shingles and air conditioning system one time during retirement.

Reaching out to experts and trusted advisors can help you plan for a retirement that meets your lifestyle needs and personal goals. By doing so, you’ll receive the tools to make the transition from working full-time to enjoying your retirement.

Speak with a TMA Insurance Trust Advisor:

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