When Do Doctors Retire? The Ultimate Guide

Doctors have a unique profession requiring a great deal of skill and dedication to maintain their credentials. However, like any other profession, one day, physicians will retire. The question then arises, when do doctors retire? The following ultimate guide will help answer that question with the most up-to-date data.

The Average Retirement Age for Physicians

Retirement age is different for every individual, but research shows that the average retirement age for physicians ranges between 65 and 70 years. However, this trend has changed over the years, with a decreasing number of doctors retiring at the traditional age.

Factors Affecting Retirement Age for Physicians

Several factors can affect the retirement age for physicians. Let’s explore some of them:

  • Financial Stability: Physicians with better financial stability can retire at a younger age, while others wait until they can financially afford to retire.
  • Specialty: Medical professionals in certain specialties such as radiology, anesthesiology, and pathology, retire earlier than those in internists, general practitioners, and psychiatry.
  • Health Condition: Physicians with health conditions that may hinder their medical practice often retire earlier than those who don’t.
  • Job Stress: Doctors in high-stress specialties may retire younger due to burnout and job-related stress.
  • Personal Choice: Some doctors may want to pursue other opportunities, such as teaching or traveling, and choose to retire early to enjoy their life and explore their interests.

The Impact of Demographics on Physician Retirement

Demographics are another important factor that can impact the retirement age of physicians:

Gender Differences:

Although the gender gap is now closing, women still retire at an earlier age than men. As per the American Medical Association’s (AMA) Physician Practice Benchmark Survey, female physicians retire at 61 years old, whereas male physicians retire at 64 years old.


Geography plays a vital role in retirement, mainly because the cost of living, lifestyle choices, and the demand for doctors differs significantly throughout the United States. Physicians who work in metropolitan cities may retire at a younger age compared to those in rural areas.

Academic Degree:

Doctors with a graduate degree earn more money, making retirement an affordable option at an earlier age. In contrast, physicians with lower degrees may postpone their retirement due to financial reasons.

Physician Retirement Planning

Retirement planning for physicians typically starts early in their career. It is essential to have a strong financial plan in place to ensure that one can live a comfortable retirement life. These are some of the tips for physicians to plan their retirement:

Estimate The Cost of Living

A physician should estimate their cost of living and plan accordingly. This includes the cost of medical bills, insurance, housing, food, and travel.

Consult with a Financial Professional

Retirement planning is a complex process, and it can be challenging to handle it alone. It is recommended that physicians consult with a financial professional to help plan their retirement.


Savings are crucial for retirement planning. Physicians should aim to save 20% of their income each year. Deferred compensation plans, such as 403(b) and 401(k), can be an attractive savings option as they provide tax advantages.


Healthcare is a significant cost in retirement planning. Physicians should have a clear understanding of their healthcare options and insurance coverage.

Debt Management

Dent management is an essential part of retirement planning. Physicians should aim to pay off their debts as soon as possible, as it can significantly affect their retirement planning.


Retirement is a complex process, and it is essential to take into consideration all the factors that can impact the timing of retirement. Physicians have worked hard all their lives, and their dedication should be rewarded with a comfortable retirement. A solid financial plan and early retirement planning can make this happen.

Unordered List of Commonly Asked Questions and Answers

  • What is the best retirement age for a physician?
    Retirement age for physicians depends on various factors such as financial stability, health condition, job stress, personal choice, and specialty.
  • Why do physicians retire?
    There are several reasons that doctors retire, such as burnout, age, financial stability, and health issues.
  • How do physicians prepare for retirement?
    Physicians should start their retirement planning early and estimate their cost of living, consult with a financial professional, focus on savings, understand healthcare options, and manage debt.
  • What is the average retirement age for physicians?
    The average retirement age for physicians ranges between 65 and 70 years, although the trend has shown a decrease in doctors retiring at traditional ages.
  • Does gender impact physician retirement?
    Yes, the gender gap is now closing, but majority data still shows female physicians retiring earlier than their male counterparts.


References to follow.

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