With little time to spend reviewing their personal finances, nearly half of physicians consider themselves behind in planning their financial futures, according to the "2013 Report on U.S. Physicians' Financial Preparedness" released by AMA Insurance Agency.
In particular, the national poll of 2,365 practicing and semi-retired physicians across specialties revealed the following:
- About half of respondents review their personal finances quarterly, while 29 percent review them annually and 14 percent as needed.
- Seventy-five percent of respondents have a disability insurance policy in place, but 42 percent of them have not reviewed their coverage in the past five years. Physicians overall said they are not confident they are carrying the right amount of disability protection.
- Fifty-seven percent of the physician respondents have an updated will. Meanwhile, about half of them have end-of-life, medical directives and a power of attorney in place.
- Only 6 percent of the doctors said they are ahead of schedule in retirement planning. Forty-one percent of respondents under age 50 averaged less than $500,000 in their retirement savings portfolio, while doctors younger than 40 had less than $100,000 saved on average.
For most items measured, female physicians trailed their male counterparts significantly, while family and internal medicine were further behind other specialists, according to an announcement from the AMA Insurance Agency. However, the key difference between physicians who were more and less prepared appeared to be based on a deeper knowledge of personal finance issues, rather than age, gender or specialty, according to report authors.