12 statistics on the financial health of physicians under 40

Physicians under age 40 can be 10 years financially behind their peers in other professions at the start of their careers, according to a new report from AMA Insurance.

Young physicians face a unique set of financial challenges as they graduate medical school — they have missed out on years of potential savings, and their family responsibilities build as they continue to pay off medical school debt long into their careers.

"The first five to 10 years in practice are significant years for a physician to make up for delayed earning power," Denise Friday, vice president of sales and marketing of AMA Insurance Agency, said in a statement. "Accelerating savings and saving early with discipline are key, but it's a complicated picture."

Here are 12 key findings about young physicians from the report.

  • Young physicians lose an estimated $71,000 in potential savings during their years of training.
  • About half of physicians are paying off medical school debt ranging from $150,000 to more than $200,000.
  • Most physicians under age 40 — 79 percent — are employed. Of those, 28 percent work in hospitals, 25 percent work in large group practices, 18 percent in small group practices and 6 percent are self-employed.
  • Just 5 percent of physicians under age 40 believe they are "very knowledgeable" about personal finance.
  • The 50 percent of physicians under age 40 who use a professional financial advisor are ahead in savings, emergency funds and retirement tools.
  • Less than half — 41 percent — of young physicians have less than $100,000 in retirement savings.
  • The same portion has amassed between $100,000 and $500,000 in retirement.
  • Three in four young physicians are married.
  • Almost two-thirds — 60 percent — are working parents.
  • More than two-thirds — 67 percent — own their own home.
  • Most young physicians — 78 percent — are the primary breadwinner of their families and earn 75 percent or more of their household income.
  • Less than one in four have updated their will, power of attorney and end-of-life directives.


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