The Alemian File: 7 Retirement Killers

Far too many physicians are not prepared for retirement. In his latest episode of The Alemian File, David Alemian outlines 7 financial problems that can be fatal to one's retirement savings.

Far too many physicians are not prepared for retirement. Reports from the AMA Insurance Agency show that half of all US physicians are not financially prepared. The common perception that most physicians are wealthy is, in reality, nothing more than a myth.

Hi, I’m David Alemian, retirement expert, radio talk-show host, video columnist, and author of the soon to be published book The Physicians Retirement Plan. Welcome to The Alemian File.

In 2013 and 2014 AMA Insurance Agency reported on the financial preparedness of US physicians. Both reports showed that about half of all US physicians are BEHIND where they would like to be in their retirement saving and only 6% were ahead of schedule. The reports put a big spotlight on the problem, which was actually a good thing. The reports even suggested some of the causes. Today, I’m going to pick up where the reports left off and give you what I have found to be the top 7 reasons why so many doctors are unprepared for retirement.

I call them the 7 Retirement Killers, because any one of them is like a terminal illness to your retirement plan and will kill your retirement. Any combination of them and, forget it, you will absolutely run out of money in retirement. Think of each of these problems as a cause of chronic financial illness. As you know, the first step to preventing or curing any health problem is to identify the problem. The next step is to determine the proper course of treatment. Today, I’ll identify the problems, then, in future episodes I’ll cover preventions, treatments, and cures for each of the seven retirement killers.

1. Market losses. Market losses have killed literally millions of retirements, because the stock market is the first place that most people put their retirement money. To make matters worse, they keep most of their money in the stock market which means it is always at risk of loss. The problem is that the stock market takes a major downturn about every 6 years, and just like a heart attack, stroke, or cancer, it strikes without warning.

2. Taxes. Taxes are like cancers and tumors on your retirement savings. If nothing is done, taxes will eat away at it your retirement nest-egg until it’s gone, leaving you in the middle of retirement with nothing. There will be multiple Alemian File articles on this topic in the future, because there is just too much to cover here today.

3. Inflation. Inflation is to your retirement what high cholesterol and high blood pressure are to your body. You don’t notice it, because it has no symptoms, but over time it takes its toll. One day you’re hit with the fact that inflation has hit your retirement savings the way a heart attack or stroke hits your body. My upcoming Alemian File article on inflation will show you a simple way to accurately calculate how much money you’ll need in retirement due to inflation.

4. Major Medical Illness. During your working years, a critical illness for a physician can also be a career-changing event, and a chronic illness in retirement can be financially devastating. Disability insurance and long-term care insurance are vital, but are they enough? What other options are available? In the near future, I’ll show you options that most people don’t even know exist, because they are so new.

5. A late start to saving due to a late start in your career. Time is always working. It is either working for you or it is working against you. If you feel that you’ve waited too long before saving for retirement, there’s a very good chance that we can fix it. No you can’t turn back the clock, but you can use financial leverage to make up for lost time. Watch for my upcoming episode on how to finance your retirement. I’m going to show you how to use bank financing to supercharge your retirement savings plan.

6. The death of a breadwinner. How does the death of a breadwinner affect retirement? It can be devastating to the entire family.

7. College tuition for your children. Right when you should be saving for retirement, along comes this massive bill called college tuition. Statistically, the children of physicians are more likely to pursue advanced degrees. In my college tuition edition, I’ll show you how one organization is helping parents get tens of thousands of dollars a year in merit award money to pay for their children’s college education. Merit award money is free money for your children’s college education, which means it is money that you don’t have to pay back.

So there you have it. These are what I call the 7 Retirement Killers. The good news is that there are solutions for each of them that work, and I’ll focus on them one at a time in future editions of The Alemian File.

My mission is help you build the retirement lifestyle of your dreams. If you have questions you can email them to:

I’ll get back to you with the answers and/or solutions that you are looking for. For more information check out my website at, and make sure that you come back here to Physicians Money Digest to get the latest edition of The Alemian File.