Planning for A Long Life

This graph is misleading-as with higher levels of education and healthy living (expected among a cohort of physicians and their families) we can expect to typically live into our nineties.  I remember that when I started in practice, seventy was “old”, and now it is not for most. I remember the ICU full of “heart attacks”, with patients getting bed rest, morphine and oxygen for days.  

We still plan for physician families that seek an early retirement.  Do the math-if you retire at 60, you may need enough money to fund retirement spending (for a couple) for up to forty years.  That’s probably a safe withdrawal rate of no more than 3%.  So, do the calculations on how much you need saved-divide your spending level (and it is more than you think) by 30K and that’s how many millions of dollars you need.

It would still make me nervous to plan for a four decade “no earnings” period.  Better to consider working less and working longer.

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Steven Podnos MD, CFP

Steven Podnos MD CFP attended the University of Florida College of Medicine and trained in Internal Medicine, Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine at UT Southwestern in Dallas Texas. He moved back to Florida with his physician wife (ENT) and raised a family while practicing Pulm/CC medicine for over twenty years. During that time, he also started and ran a Hospitalist program for several years. In 2002, Steve began a slow transition towards having a Fiduciary Fee Only Financial planning practice-at first just for friends and family. As the practice grew, he transitioned out of full time medical practice to full time financial planning. Dr. Podnos joined the US Air Force Reserve in 2008 as a critical care physician and flight surgeon. He deployed twice to Landstuhl Army Hospital in Germany as an intensivist during the Afghanistan war in 2009 and 2010, and as a critical care air transport (CCATT) physician in Okinawa in July 2018. His firm, Wealth Care LLC now serves approximately 100 physician families nationwide and another fifty non physician families with both financial planning and wealth management. He is a staunch advocate of independent medical practice, believing that the corporatization of medicine and Electronic Medical Records are both harmful to physicians. 

  3 comments for “Planning for A Long Life

  1. PW
    August 29, 2019 at 10:21 am

    The big killer at retirement? Health care costs.

  2. Aaron M. Levine
    August 28, 2019 at 5:17 pm

    I am 72 and have altered my practice. I have officially retired but am looking at other sources of income. Further, the Federal Deficits suggests future inflation or increased taxes. I knew I should have demanded a dowry.

  3. Sir Lance-a-lot
    August 28, 2019 at 2:15 pm

    Wow. I only need $5,000,000.

    That’s $4,950,000 to go!


    When I tell my patients I’m going to work until I die, I’m not kidding.

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