Financial plans of female dentists at risk when compared to male colleagues, says report

This is according to new report carried out by Wesleyan.

Research has unveiled a key area of concern that may leave female dentists at a financial disadvantage compared to their male counterparts.

Nearly half of female dentists (47%) said saving enough for retirement is one of their key financial priorities in the next 12 months. But survey findings revealed that there is a gap in financial planning.

In particular, it refers to short-term changes to how dentists work and the resulting impact on long-term plans.

For female dentists who plan to make changes to how they work within the next two years (such as changing working hours or moving from NHS to private provision), 30% have no financial plans to offset these changes. A further 30% don’t know how these changes will impact their pension.

Retirement plans

Comparing this approach from the point of view of male dentists, 41% are confident they have planned for the short and long-term impacts. On top of this, 51% know exactly how their pensions will be affected.

This leaves a large gap in the approach to long-term planning that may derail female dentists’ plans for retirement.

Growing day-to-day savings was also found to be a short-term financial priority for 37%. This jumped to 58% for those aged 18-30 years.

One particular driver for this priority appears to be the ongoing market volatility. This is down to the cost of living crisis and the lingering impacts of the pandemic.

One survey respondent shared: ‘Currently I’m only breaking even and need to find the money to pay my tax bill. So, I can’t save at all.’

Linda Wallace is director of Wesleyan Financial Services. She said: ‘It’s a significant concern from the perspective of financial planning specialists to see such a crucial element of female dentists’ long-term financial plans exposed.

‘Understandably, the demands of working within dentistry are intense. Reports of burnout, stress and mental health problems are not uncommon in the dental press. These more immediate challenges often take precedent. But raising awareness on long-term financial planning issues will help ensure women in dentistry aren’t left at a comparative disadvantage when it comes to life after work.’

Future goals

She added: ‘The decisions dentists make now to how they work are intrinsically linked with financial stability in later life. Retirement plans need to be reviewed regularly to protect future goals. This also allows dentists to enjoy the fruits of their labour with a much-earned retirement.’

Wesleyan’s previous research revealed that it was more likely for Brits to save in standard savings accounts rather than considering alternative approaches.

With inflation levels now reaching the highest levels in 40 years as reported for April, one area for female dentists to consider is the negative impact using easy access savings accounts may have on the purchasing power of their savings. To protect their hard-earned money from inflation, considering investing may help savings outperform inflation and result in better returns.

Of course, investments can go down as well as up and it’s possible to get back less than invested. Female dentists need to consider their risk appetite and weigh up the threat of inflation and the risks of investing. Speaking to a financial expert may provide clarity on this financial planning area.

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