No. of Recommendations: 4
I’m not as surprised as many of you are that doctors don’t appear on the list.

After all, doctors aren’t immune to the laws of compounding. Many of them don’t start making “doctor money” until they’re in their thirties, and even then, by that point they’ve often got well into six figures of debt to pay off before they can really start saving. By they time they dig themselves out of medical school and licensing debts, compounding says they need to sock away a couple thousand a month or more to wind up retired as millionaires.

So now you’re talking late forties, into their fifties or so, before even the more financially savvy of doctors have a legitimate chance of counting themselves among the millionaire ranks.

Add to it the fact that doctors are rightly paranoid about being sued because they ‘must be rich’ because of their profession, and many of them wind up easy targets for insurance sales pitches that wrap up “investments” inside insurance structures. Those are generally effective tools for transferring wealth to the insurance company from the doctors, but also tend to be far less effective wealth compounding tools for the doctors. In practice, that serves to increase the amount a doctor has to sock away each pay period to reach millionaire status, putting the target that much farther away.

And that’s before accounting for the trappings of status like a fancy car, fancy house, fancy vacations, etc. Sure, doctors may often retire as millionaires, but it wouldn’t surprise me in the slightest that many reach that designation fairly late in their careers.

Contrast that with, say, a teacher that starts work at 23, automatically enrolled in a “savings plan” that socks away an amount equivalent to 15% to 20% of salary because the district has mandatory enrollment and doesn’t participate in Social Security.

The teacher may not make nearly the salary as a doctor, but with the earlier start date and the mandatory contribution at a fairly high level, the teacher can very well be in a better spot to reach millionaire status younger in life.

Regards,
-Chuck
Discovery/HR Home Fool
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