"It's not right," a 45-year-old physiciantold me recently. "I take mycar to an auto mechanic and pay$100 before he opens the hood. As adoctor, I can't command that kind of pay.Something's really out of whack." Thatanecdote seems to sum up the deep professionalfrustration felt by manyAmerican doctors. Sadly, there's notmuch they can do about it.
Not Quite Ready
Physician's Money Digest
A recent Merritt, Hawkins & Associatessurvey found that about 50% ofdoctors aged 50 to 60 would like toclose their medical practices or significantlyreduce their workloads in thenext 3 years. While it's a nice idea, it'salso a dream. I've discovered that mostdoctors are wholly unprepared forretirement—financially and emotionally.A recent survey of more than 700 readers foundthat two of three expect their medicalpractice revenue to decline or remainthe same in the next 3 years.
It's nothing to be ashamed of,though. Caring for people—not buildingwealth—is something for whichyou've trained your mind, body, andsoul. It's what you're good at. Besides,nearly 85% of doctorssay they still find thepractice of medicine tobe "satisfying."
The MillionaireNext Door
As long as you'restuck and a comfortableretirement is more—much more—than 3years off, try to steady your nerves withthe wise theories of Thomas Stanley, PhD,author of the bestseller (Pocket; 1998). Among themillionaires he has studied (10% weredoctors), he has found that the key tosuccess is living a balanced life.
Millionaire WomenNext Door
Dr. Stanley, who hasstudied affluent Americansfor more than 25years, just penned a newbook, (AndrewsMcMeel Publishing; 2004).The results of his new research confirmthat successful men and women have similar"foundation stones to success." Tobuild a foundation of success, they mustdo the following: