Older doctors reluctant to retire: survey


By Nicola Garrett

21 Mar 2017

Over a third of older doctors don’t have a retirement plan in place, a survey reveals.

Writing in the Medical Journal of Australia the researchers say their findings illustrate the need for support programs that assist doctors in transitioning to retirement.

The survey of over 1,000 GPs and specialists aged above 55 found that 38 percent of doctors were unsure about retiring or did not intend to retire.

Financial and emotional resources, work being a central part of life, and anxiety about ageing all influenced the intention to retire, the survey results showed.

For example, the odds of retiring were higher for doctors with adequate financial resources (OR 1.31 95% CI 1.18-1.44) and greater anxiety about ageing (OR 1.05 95% CI 1.02-1.09).

Writing in an accompanying editorial Professor Brian Draper from the Euroa Centre at the University of New South Wales said the findings showed that doctors needed to obtain financial advice and develop a plan early on in their career, particularly if they are self employed.

“Although it might be easier for older doctors to retire if they have considered financial, health, lifestyle and professional issues earlier in their career, late career attention to these factors can still be beneficial,” he added.

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