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Retirement Planning for Physicians: Overcoming Key Obstacles

| May 31, 2018
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Everyone wants to retire someday—or at the very least, to have the means available for a long and comfortable life, no matter how long they choose to remain in the workforce. Yet no matter your vocation or your station in life, retirement planning is difficult. It requires both strategy and discipline—a big-picture view of your financial situation, and the willingness to make sacrifices and save money out of each paycheck.

For doctors, there are some specific retirement planning obstacles to be aware of. None of these are insurmountable, and in fact, with the correct guidance, any physician can develop a strong retirement plan. The first step is simply knowing what you’re up against.

Retirement Planning Challenges That Doctors Face

Some physician-specific retirement planning obstacles include:

  1. Student loan debt. Many individuals have student loan debt, of course—but those in healthcare can have some of the heaviest debt loads. That’s simply because of the nature and extent of their education. When you have student loan debt to pay off each month, it limits your ability to set aside funds for retirement.
  2. Practice startup costs. What’s more, physicians have to set up their practice, which can be fairly costly. There’s money associated with marketing the practice, procuring equipment, and more. Again, these added expenses make it easy for doctors to put retirement planning on the back burner.
  3. Practice operational expenses. Even once the practice is set up, there remain a lot of costs associated with its operation. Utilities, staffing, supplies—there’s a lot of overhead that adds up over time. For doctors who feel like they’ve got a lot on their plates, financially speaking, these operational expenses can make retirement planning seem impossible.
  4. Lifestyle expense. This one is a prickly topic, but it has to be addressed: A lot of doctors—especially younger ones—overspend on their lifestyle, when they should be saving money for retirement. There’s nothing wrong with enjoying your life as a doctor, of course, but it’s important to balance that in-the-moment splurging with long-term financial responsibility.
  5. Insufficient planning. Finally, it’s important to acknowledge that a lot of doctors simply aren’t aware of the resources available to them as they seek a solid financial plan. Running their practice consumes so much of their time that they simply don’t realize how accessible retirement planning can be.

Overcoming Obstacles to Retirement Planning

The good news for physicians is that financial guidance does exist, and it can provide any doctor with an actionable strategy for growing those retirement accounts. Indeed, a good retirement plan not only allows doctors to see the big picture, but it provides simple steps for making the appropriate retirement contributions every single month.

Seek the help you need to put a retirement plan in place, for yourself and for your family, and to find out first-hand how these obstacles can be overcome. Reach out to The Medicus Group today to learn more about our individualized retirement planning services for healthcare professionals.

Financial Representative, The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America, New York, NY. The Medicus Group is not an affiliate or subsidiary of Guardian. 2018-60464 Exp 5/20
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