2014 Report on U.S. Physicians’ Financial Preparedness

Written by on October 31, 2014 in Research & Technology - No comments
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AMA Insurance finds employed physicians have own set of personal financial issues in latest report

Smiling-DoctorWEBA new, in-depth report from AMA Insurance shows that employed physicians – now comprising 59 percent of all American physicians – have their own set of personal financial challenges, in part due to their employment status.  The 2014 Report on U.S. Physicians’ Financial Preparedness: Segment Focus on Employed Physicians (http://bit.ly/1tWKlOV) not only tracks their concerns about retirement savings and other key personal financial areas, but also checks the status of their employee insurance protection and points up their new key concern: funding long term care expenses.

The report’s findings were taken from a national survey, conducted by AMA Insurance, of employed physicians primarily working in group practices, hospitals and medical schools. Topics included:  retirement planning and savings, financial concerns, personal financial acumen, use of professional financial advisors, family finances, and disability and other types of insurance protection.

Different dimensions to employed physicians’ financial picture

“Employed physicians have different dimensions to their personal financial picture due to their employment status,” said Alfred C. Drowne, Vice President and General Manager, AMA Insurance, a wholly owned subsidiary of the American Medical Association (AMA).   “Through the survey, we were able to capture some specifics of that picture.  For example, nearly half of employed physicians reported that their employer pays their disability insurance premiums. It’s important for physicians in this situation to understand that the benefit paid to them may be taxable income and could result in a shortfall.  We see clearly from report findings that spending more time and/or working with a professional advisor to understand options and manage the full extent of their finances can be vital to their personal financial health.”

Retirement comfort the top financial goal; half behind in retirement savings

In the report, physician respondents of all ages cited funding ‘a comfortable retirement’ for themselves and their spouses as their top financial goal – and having enough money to retire as their top financial concern.  However, only 8 percent of employed physicians consider themselves ‘ahead of schedule’ in retirement savings.  In fact, 42 percent consider themselves ‘behind where they’d like to be.”  In terms of actual savings, report results show that 44 percent report they have less than $500,000 saved for retirement.

Funding long-term care a new top financial concern

Also, funding long-term care expenses has emerged as a top concern for employed physicians, second only to having enough savings to retire. Sixty-five percent of the survey respondents are ‘very concerned’ or ‘somewhat concerned’ about being able to fund long-term care expenses for themselves and their spouse/partner in case of chronic illness or disability.  While 67 percent plan to use long-term care insurance or self-fund it, 33 percent are not sure how they will pay these expenses.

Most employers offer malpractice, disability, life insurance

From an employee benefits perspective, the AMA Insurance report found that the majority of employers offer malpractice, disability income protection and life insurance.  Nearly all employed physicians have malpractice insurance through their employer.  Seventy-six percent also have life insurance and 73 percent have disability insurance through their employer. Nearly half of employed physicians reported that their employer pays their disability premiums; 12 percent were not sure.

Physicians using professional financial advisors fare better

The report also indicated that more than half (57 percent) of employed physicians use the services of a professional financial advisor; 43 percent do not. Those who do are more confident and on-track with their personal finances and retirement savings, have more in emergency savings, have more diverse financial investments, and feel more confident about personal financial decision-making.    Forty-five percent of those who do not use an advisor say they have not found someone they can trust.

More results on AMA Insurance Report available

Above are several key findings of the 2014 Report on U.S. Physicians’ Financial Preparedness: Segment Focus on Employed Physicians. More highlights are available at: http://bit.ly/1tWKlOV

About the Survey:
The national survey was sent to approximately 125,000 practicing U.S. physicians, ages 30-69 in June 2014. The respondent profile (N=2,073) showed representation across ages 30-69 and across specialties.  Full report confidence interval 95% with a +/- 4% margin of error.  The total employed physician sample (N=1,025) confidence interval is 95% with a +/- 4% margin of error.  The employed physician sample included 62% male/38% female ratio; about half working in a large group practice or hospital; 20% in a small or mid-sized practice and 16% employed by a medical school.  Another 10% are employed in foundation, industry, government, etc.  26% of employed physicians graduated from medical school outside the United States or Canada.  All survey data collected through Qualtrics®.

About AMA Insurance: 
Established in 1988 as a wholly owned subsidiary of the American Medical Association, AMA Insurance Agency, Inc. specializes in meeting the insurance and financial services needs of America’s 1,000,000 physicians, both AMA members and non-members.  Authorized to conduct business in all 50 states, AMA Insurance offers a portfolio of physician-exclusive disability, life, and health insurance for individuals, medical group practices and other institutions. AMA Insurance’s national reach enables the agency to provide physicians with unique physician-focused coverage at competitive rates from top carriers. For more information, visit www.amainsure.com.

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