How Much Money Do Physicians Need to Retire Comfortably

Jenny Handwerk |

How Much Money Do Physicians Need to Retire Comfortably 

While there are other essential financial and nonfinancial goals, your life's most important financial task is to save enough money to live a comfortable retirement for several decades when you are no longer able or willing to work. For most physicians, this will take 10 to 30 years of hard labor, systematic saving, and focused investing.

Physicians must develop a plan to preserve their financial future in times of uncertainty. While physicians' demands vary depending on their professional stage, creating a solid retirement plan will help you maintain peace of mind as you face the challenges of practicing medicine today.

Because doctors are among the highest-paid Americans, many new physicians believe that saving is simple. However, that is only sometimes the case. With a good retirement plan, you may have enough to support yourself in your elder years.

Physician retirement planning can be complex. With so many possibilities available, deciding how to invest your money can be difficult. Numerous options exist to save for the future, including 401(k) plans, IRAs, and stocks.

How Much Are You Saving?

At the very least, physicians should fully use the tax-advantaged retirement plans. As a result, you must ensure that you save enough money to meet your financial objectives.

Several retirement plans are available to doctors, but not all doctors will have access to them. Most doctors will have access to a pre-tax retirement plan through their workplace (or can create one themselves if self-employed).

Most doctors and their spouses can also benefit from a Backdoor Roth IRA, albeit certain regulations must be followed to avoid tax issues.  Aside from that, there are other investment opportunities.  If you want to be able to retire one day, you will need to save more money than just these two accounts.

The precise accounts used and the specific investments made inside those accounts are significantly less important than the amount saved regularly. The amount you save and your ability to maintain a consistent approach over time will have a far greater impact on your long-term success.


When Should I start saving for retirement as a physician?

The sooner, the better. People come up with a variety of reasons to postpone saving for retirement. Some of these include "Retirement?" Why should I be concerned about retirement when my career has just begun?" or "I don't have enough money to invest right now, but I will when I earn more.

It is necessary to identify what is holding you back and the importance of getting started as soon as feasible. The sooner you start investing, the better. 


The 50/30/20 Rule


The 50/30/20 rule is the secret to being a personal money expert. If you own your private medical practice or work for a public institution, following this rule will ensure that you have enough money saved for retirement.

It would help if you spent only half of your after-tax income on living expenses. If you earn $100,000 annually (after taxes), you should spend at most $50,000 on housing, transportation, food, clothing, and other needs.

You need to save 30% of your salary to ensure your success. Every time you earn a dollar, put 30 cents into a savings, investment, or retirement account.

You have the rest after you've paid your expenses and saved money. Use it for whatever you want. If you make a lot of money and are wise, you will contribute a few extra dollars to your retirement plan. 

How Much to Save Monthly


Your retirement goals determine the amount you should save each month. However, if you start early, you must contribute less to your retirement account each month than if you waited.

It also depends on when you plan to retire. The average physician wants to retire at 60, yet most retire at 69.

Start saving 15% to 20% of your salary as soon as possible. If you wait, you'll have to catch up and save a lot more.

If you are still in your residency or fellowship, your contributions will be significantly lower than when you are an attending physician. The goal is to raise your contributions as your income grows.

Saving for retirement doesn't need to be a complex issue. With the help of our experts, you can make the most of your savings and have a proper retirement plan. Feel free to give us a call.