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November 20, 2019

Physicians’ unique retirement needs

The Advantages Retirement Plan™ is designed for all physicians, regardless of career stage

This article will help you:

  • Build understanding about how the Advantages Retirement Plan is designed to help make retirement easier and more affordable for the physician community (also available to their spouses/common-law partners)
  • Learn more about how the “four phases” of the physician retirement planning lifecycle can shape your financial plans over your lifetime

A physician's financial life

A physician’s financial life likely looks different from that of many non-physician Canadians:

  • Most physicians are self-employed, incorporated professionals, which can mean a more complex financial picture that requires more deliberate planning, including tax planning, than that of Canadians who are full-time employees
  • Because most physicians are self-employed professionals, few can join traditional pension plans in Canada, which require an employer-employee relationship. This means that you must create alternative ways to attain monthly income certainty during your retirement years
  • Although total earnings over a physician’s lifetime can be significant, typically earnings start later in their careers and then climb rapidly. Compared to other Canadians, physicians usually have a relatively short span of higher-earnings years, which are often followed by a transitional period of working part-time, gradually decreasing earnings leading up to full retirement
  • Many physicians can expect to live longer than the average Canadian, especially as the number of female physicians continues to increase
  • Life expectancy among Canadian women is nearly five years higher than it is for men. Women now represent over 40 per cent of Ontario doctors as of 2017, up from 25 per cent in 1995. Increasing life expectancies among physicians can mean that planning for longevity can be increasingly critical

Key insights

  • Because physicians tend to be self-employed professionals with unique earnings and working patterns and longer-than-average longevity, they can benefit from a tailored approach to retirement planning
  • Physician retirement preparedness can be broken into four phases: getting started, getting serious, getting ready, and in retirement
  • The Advantages Retirement Plan can help meet your foundational retirement needs at all phases of the physician financial lifecycle, from helping you start saving early in your career to helping you draw monthly retirement income from your savings during your retirement years

The benefits of the Advantages Retirement Plan

The Advantages Retirement Plan is OMA Insurance’s answer to OMA members’ requests for a group retirement plan and is tailored to meet the foundational retirement needs of the physician community. Here are some of the ways in which the Advantages Retirement Plan addresses the needs of Ontario physician community:

  • To support your fluctuating income over time, contributions to the plan are both flexible and automatic. The plan’s auto-escalation feature allows younger physician members to start with lower levels of contributions that automatically and gradually increase over time. This feature also automatically increases contributions in line with inflation
  • Because most OMA members do not have access to defined benefit pensions, OMA Insurance has created a customized guaranteed lifetime income offering that provides you with income that is guaranteed to last as long as you live
  • As physicians are extremely busy, the Advantages Retirement Plan offers low-cost, “set it and forget it” investment options that are tailor-made for retirement saving
  • Because retirement is not an “all-or-nothing” proposition for most physicians, the Advantages Retirement Plan helps you prepare to access a steady stream of retirement income even if you choose to work part-time

The Advantages Retirement Plan can help physicians and their spouses/common-law partners save for retirement. OMA Insurance has identified four phases of the physician lifecycle that can shape your retirement plans over your lifetime and has created the Advantages Retirement Plan™ to assist physicians and their spouses in understanding how much to save for and how to prepare for retirement throughout each phase.